The Attack of the Two-Inch Teacher
Chapter One (Pleskit)
A Letter Home
FROM: Pleskit Meenom, on the deeply weird Planet Earth
TO: Maktel Geebrit, on my beloved Planet Hevi-Hevi
After my first week on Earth I thought things might settle down a little.
Guess what? The next two weeks were just as difficult. What makes it even worse is that while the problems the first week were not my fault, this time the whole mess happened because I did something stupid. Really stupid.
I don’t know why things always seem to get so out of control for me. I sure didn’t mean to shrink Ms. Weintraub. I wouldn’t even have brought the Molecular Compactor to school if I hadn’t been so desperate and angry.
But I’m getting ahead of myself.
The whole mess started because my new friend Tim decided we should try to get me to be a little more “cool.”
I know the translator is going to have a problem with this word “cool”, because it is not like anything we have on Hevi-Hevi. As near as I can figure out, it has to do with getting people to like you because you are (a) different and (b) just like them. If you think this is confusing, just be glad you don’t have to try to be cool yourself. It’s very tiring. Except Linnsy, my other new friend, says that it doesn’t work to try being cool anyway. You either are, or you aren’t.
This being “cool” seems to be one of the great mysteries of life here. I have not figured it out yet, but working on it led to my most recent problem.
I’ve got the whole story written up for you. Actually, Tim and I wrote it together, just like last time. You’ll find it all in the attached files.
Tim is turning out to be a really good friend. But please do not worry; that does not mean you are not still my friend, too. I hope you can visit soon! (Even if this planet is strange and scary, it can be kind of fun.)
Until then—Fremmix Bleeblom!
Chapter Two (Tim)
Off to the Embassy
“Hey, Tim. This is Pleskit. Do you want to come over and share activities?”
Getting an invitation to a friend’s house might not seem like a big deal to you. But when that friend is the first alien kid to go to school openly on Earth, I think it’s pretty exciting.
“Just a minute,” I replied. “I have to ask my mom.”
This was pretty much a formality. I knew Mom would say yes—mostly because I also knew that if she didn’t my brain would explode, and I figured she didn’t want that to happen.
To my surprise, getting permission wasn’t as simple as I had expected. My mother wrinkled her brow and said, “I don’t know, Tim. I’m afraid it might be dangerous over there.”
“For pete’s sake, Mom! The embassy could survive a bomb blast. Pleskit even has his own personal bodyguard.”
“Which proves my point! Why would he have a bodyguard if there wasn’t any danger? And his so-called bodyguard didn’t stop that evil hamster-woman alien from trying to empty your brains out last night. And she’s still on the loose.”
“Mikta-makta-mookta has probably left the planet by now. Besides, this is a matter of national security. If I don’t go, Pleskit might take it as an insult! Do you want to offend the son of the first ambassador from outer space? We might cause an interplanetary incident!”
Mom sighed. “Sometimes I worry that you’re going to grow up to be a lawyer, Tim. All right, you can go. But I expect you home for supper!”
That was fine with me. I may be interested in all things alien, but after my first experience with Hevi-Hevi food I was ready to let my stomach rest for a while.
I ran back to the phone. “I’ll be right over!”
“Do you want me to send Ralph to get you?”
“Nah, I’ll ride my bike.”
“That sounds nice,” said Pleskit wistfully.
I felt kind of sorry for him. Pleskit has to travel in a big limousine, driven by a guy named Ralph. It’s kind of cool the first couple of times you ride in it, and its a lot nicer than my mother’s beat-up old Pontiac. But having to ride in it everywhere makes it kind of like a very fancy prison.
I can see the alien embassy from our apartment. Actually, you can see it from a lot of places in town, since it is built on top of a hill in Thorncraft Park, and is very big. It’s also very weird. Basically, it looks like a flying saucer suspended from a big hook that curves up from the ground. (The hook is sort of like the top part of a coat hanger, except it’s a couple of hundred feet high.)
As usual, a big crowd was gathered at the edge of the force field that marks embassy grounds, gawking up at the saucer. There were only a few protesters now, but their anti-alien signs were pretty rude. Mostly people were taking pictures and stuff. I saw on the news that hotel rooms are sold out for fifty miles around Syracuse because of people wanting to see the aliens.
I felt very privileged to be allowed in.
The first time I had entered the embassy I was in the limo with Pleskit. We went in by way of a tunnel that opens quite a way away from the embassy. This time I got off my bike and pushed my way through the crowd until I reached a blue dome that stands about fifty yards from the base of the embassy, right at the edge of the force field. When I knocked on the door the guy inside frowned. Then he looked at the control panel in front of him, looked at me again, and switched on a microphone.
“Place your hand against the wall,” he said.
I did as he instructed. My palm tingled for a moment.
The guard nodded. “You pass.” He pressed another button, and a panel slid up in front of me. I could hear murmurs of jealousy from the crowd as I wheeled my bike inside the dome.
The guard, who was a human, held up a hand and said, “Greetings, Earthling.” Then he cracked up, as if this was some brilliant joke.
I thought about answering, “Greetings, Bonehead!” but decided against it.
I leaned my bike against the wall, then climbed into a silver and crimson capsule. It was about the size of my teacher’s desk; the seat was padded, and as soon as I sat down it shifted to fit the shape of my butt.
The guard closed the top over me. Though it had looked solid from the outside, from the inside it was clear, so I could see right through it. The capsule slid forward into a silver-sided tunnel. Weird alien music began to play around me. At least, I assumed it was music; a bunch of high, tinkly sounds with a windlike noise behind them. The music couldn’t have been playing for more than ten seconds when the top of the capsule popped opened again.
I thought something must have gone wrong, until I glanced to my right and saw a familiar purple face smiling at me.
“Greetings, Earthling!” said Pleskit. His sphen-gnut-ksher (that’s what he calls the knob that grows out of the top of his bald head) bent forward, as if it was taking a tiny bow.
I was totally startled. “How did I get here so fast?” I glanced down at the capsule I was sitting in. “Is this a matter transmitter or something?” I wondered if my molecules had been dissembled and put back together.
Pleskit laughed. “We wouldn’t use a matter transmitter for a short trip like that!” (I figured this meant they must actually have matter transmitters, something I had been wondering about.)
“But I didn’t even know I was moving!”
“Now you can see why I don’t like riding in that limousine. Come on—let’s go do something.”
As I was climbing out of the capsule something poked its head over Pleskit’s shoulder.
I jumped back in alarm. “What’s that?”ot;
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