Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Alien Cab Driver

Driver number 52’s flesh colored makeup adequately covered the deep royal blue color of his skin, so that he could pass for human. In fact he was human, but from another galaxy, like so many other thousands of galaxy’s that supported oxygen and carbon dioxide breathing life. He was part of the first reconnaissance scout team for the Near Universe Coalition (NUC), that was growing as new planets with sentient life were found, and either added to the coalition, left to allow further evolution to occur or annihilated. As a captain in the intelligence gathering branch of the NUC army, he volunteered to do what so many others before him had done – decide the ultimate fate of billions of sentient beings.

Prior to arriving, all scouts are schooled in every aspect of the culture and history of the planet that they are investigating. By the time that they arrive, they can fluently speak the language of the culture that they are observing. In order to gain a complete picture of life on a planet, it has been found that 12 scouts are needed to adequately assess the entire planet. An occupation must be found that allows the scout to not only observe, but interact emotionally and intellectually with the planet’s inhabitants. At the same time the scout must support themselves, and fit in society, so as to not draw attention to themselves.

Certain occupations are best for not only observing, in order to gain a real understanding of the inhabitants true nature, but to interact with them, as if the scout was a natural born citizen of Earth. It has been found that driving a taxi cab, is one of the best ways to observe the nature of people, since you come in contact with anywhere from a couple dozen to over a hundred people every shift. Intelligence personnel are always used, because identification must be obtained, through birth certificates, identification numbers, like social security and a driver’s license, along with espionage adequacy and quick thinking to avoid discovery. The mission would continue until high command contacted the scouts and told them to return to their inter- dimensional pods for teleportation back to NUC headquarters.

Driver number 52, also known as Trevor had been driving for Yellow cab for nearly 6 months now, and today was Saturday. As he began his 12 hour shift the low brooding clouds were pregnant with the soon to come rain, but for the moment it was dry, as Trevor pulled into the parking lot of Winco on South Commercial. When he pulled up to the loading area there was a man dressed in black, who appeared to be around 30 years old, with spiked black hair and a goatee stood by a grocery cart with three bags in it. He moved here from Oakland, California just a month ago and was heading to the Fox Hollow apartments on South Liberty. On the way there he talked about why he moved back to Salem, after a 10 year absence.

“I had to get out of there, or get killed,” he said. “My wife’s two brothers, who hate me just got out of prison for murder, and they told me that they were going to kill me. At the same time my wife’s former lover, who was in prison for a murder rape, was getting out, after 10 years. She told me that she only married me to kill time while she waited for him to get out, and was still madly in love with him.” When we arrived at his apartment he paid #52 in cash and gave him a $2.00 tip.

The rest of the night was uneventful, with a few drunks, but nothing really serious. Then around 3:00 AM, Dotty the dispatcher gave #52, a call to pick up someone at the sleazy trailer park on Highway. When he arrived his passenger was already standing outside, at the entrance driveway. It was a Japanese man, with shoulder length hair that was worn in a woman’s perm. He had on a brightly colored suit, and smiled as he opened the cab door.

“Hi sweetie,” his passenger said, as he got in the cab. “I need to go to Silverton.”

“Anytime I go out of town I need money up front,” Trevor said. “It’s $35.00 minimum. Will it be cash or charge.”

“It’ll be cash sweetie, but why can’t you trust me?” The man, who was talking and acting like a woman said.

“Because that is the company rule, to avoid any potential problems,” he said.

“There won’t be any problems, but here is your money,” he said as he took a twenty, ten and five out of his wallet and handed it to him, in what seemed like an eternity. He was drunk, and his motor coordination was bad, but he kept putting his hand on #52’s shoulder. Finally his hand worked its way down to Trevor’s right thigh, and then his fingers began to move towards the crotch.

“Don’t touch me!” Trevor said calmly.

“Oh now I’ve scared the poor thing,” his passenger said.

“You haven’t scared me, but I don’t like people touching me,” he said. “Especially when they are making unwanted sexual advances.”

“My name is Johnny,” his passenger said, “and I think that you’re cute. If you want we can have sex at my mother’s house when we get to Silverton.”

“No thanks, I’m married,” Trevor told him, since he had a wife and 3 children back in his home galaxy.

“Well you have to have some fun sometime,” Johnny said. “If you come to the Holistic Hairdresser, on Lancaster, I’ll cut your hair for free.

When they finally arrived at Johnny’s address in Silverton the rain had become torrential, and even with the windshield wipers on full speed, the windshield was hard to see out of. The meter was over the $35.00 that Johnny had given #52. The house was on the eastern outskirts of town, but his passenger balked at paying anymore and said that’s what he was told the fare would be. Rather than arguing, Trevor accepted it and after he called it in, Dotty said goodnight, as he headed back to Salem.

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