It is a little known fact that Earth is the only inhabited planet to have repelled a Zardonian invasion.
- It happened in February 2021.
- In the townland of Gortakeeran.
- Three miles above the village of Coolaney.
‘Is that you Charlie?’, yelled Rose McGettigan.
It was evening and she was at home in bed.
‘Yes’, came a reply from the front door.
Rose’s home was a house in Gortakeeran. The townland was once home to fourteen families. And almost a hundred residents.
That was when Rose was young.
Now it was only her husband and, if he was to be believed, six robots.
‘Did ya get biscuits?’
‘Wait till ya hear this! I got something much better than biscuits. News of a robot invasion. I was on my way into town and ran into six of them up the end of the lane. They said they’re putting together a machine called the planet slayer. And ya know what? you’ll never guess, they’re gonna enslave humanity.’
Rose hobbled out of bed and downstairs to Charlie. It was biscuits that had motivated her. She saw a pair of empty hands instead.
‘All ya had to do is fetch a packet of Rich Tea, but what did you land back with? Another story about robots! I’m starting to wonder if this lockdown hasn’t damaged your brain Charlie.’
Rose hadn’t been outside her home in the three weeks since the government announcement. It had been a stark message. And a world away from the McGettigan’s kitchen. ‘Public gatherings are cancelled‘, the voice crackled on the radio, ‘all pubs are shut. Our elderly must shelter in place. We are facing a virus that is the shared enemy of all humanity.’
Charlie continued his report about what he saw on the lane.
‘The leader of the robots is a fat lad called Zalderbon Dumhackle, and he said they’ve beaten nineteen planets with their machine already. He reckons the thing has never even fired a shot because it scares the bejaysus outta of anyone who claps eyes on it. Or so he says. It looked shite to me.’
Rose rolled her eyes. She was certain Charlie’s failing sight wouldn’t have seen her gesture. She felt the need to make it anyway.
‘Charlie McGettigan, are you telling me that I’m gonna have to hobble into town on a bad hip to get biscuits?’
‘No, no, nothing like that. You stay put. There’s a virus about. I just thought ya might’ve been interested in the robots. I’ll go and get biscuits in the morning.’
Rose turned and climbed back upstairs.
‘You do that’, she muttered.
Those were the last words spoken between them untill the following afternoon. When Rose was in the living room. And Inspector Morse was on the television.
Rose muted her television.
‘Good, you’re back, I’m dying for a cup of tea.’
Charlie waited untill he was in the room to continue their conversation.
‘I didn’t get biscuits. I just came back to fetch the camera. I want to take a picture of the planet slayer for the newspapers.’
Rose’s face went red.
‘You’d one thing to do. I should’ve expected ya’d come back empty handed. And ya know fine well how much I need biscuits with my tea. Just admit it, you don’t want me to be happy.’
She had almost reached a point of unbounded ranting when Charlie spoke again.
‘The robots have begun their invasion of Earth Rose. I thought you’d want to know. And it looks like they’re gonna start with our place.’
‘Have you got rocks in your head Charlie?’
‘Don’t worry, there’s no fear of that lot doing anything except hurting themselves, ya should take a look at their machine though, they’ll probably never be back this way.’
Charlie’s news of an extraterrestrial invasion might not have spread far, but it still had a remarkable impact:
It caused Rose McGettigan to do something she had not done in three weeks.
She walked beyond her front door.
Rose then saw:
- Five medium sized chrome humanoid creatures.
- One large chrome humanoid creature.
- A steel canon (roughly the size of a family car).
‘What’s going on?’, she asked.
‘Are ye with the health board?’, she then follow-up-without-waiting-for-an-answer-asked.
The large humanoid, known to his fellow Zardonians (and Charlie) as Zalderbon, began a reply; ‘We are a Zardonian invasion force here to claim the will and riches of your spe…’
‘Do ye know how long I’ve been waiting for a hip operation?’
This time Zalderbon didn’t reply to Rose’s question.
‘Three years is how long, and yet ye’ve time to be up here playing with machines. On your fat salaries. And with a virus about, wasters is what ye are.’
Rose paused to briefly appreciate what she had said.
‘I’ve a mind to box the head of the lot of ye.’
Charlie had followed Rose outside just in time to hear ‘box the head of the lot of ye.’
He took it upon himself to act as a peacekeeper.
‘I think it’s time ye beamed yourselves home lads’, he said.
‘Silence human’, ordered Zalderbon, who then gestured something to one of his companions. It must have been an instruction to activate the planet slayer. Because his companion yanked at a large lever on one side of it, and the machine rumbled.
And fell apart.
‘I told ya ye should’ve tested it’, noted Charlie.
Zalderbon looked to his companions, who looked back at him. They shrugged their chrome shoulders. He shrugged his back.
‘Clean up that mess right now’, ordered Rose.
‘I’m going back inside to watch the end of Inspector Morse, and if that junk is not gone by the time I’m back I’ll report ye to the Council’, she added.
Rose then began a slow angry shuffle back into the house.
‘Are there many humans like that one?’, asked Zalderbon.
‘Yes’, replied Charly.
‘Are they always that angry?’
‘Not really,it’s usually just when ya forget to buy biscuits.’
You might think that account of the invasion is not true.
But, if you are ever in the Zardonian central library and find the reference for Earth; you will see three sentences to back it up:
- Approach this planet with extreme caution.
- Conventional invasion tactics are useless.
- And bring biscuits.