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Match of the Day I: First Contact
by Michael S. Collins

Once the spaceship landed, there were two types of witnesses of the problem – those close enough to see what the problem was, and those who were still alive. This was highly inconvenient, since the local polytechnic was shut due to a lack of government funding, and so there was a distinct lack of available student cannon fodder. In between the mud and blood that mingled in the softly falling rain, the local authorities assessed the situation.

Which was this. During morning break, the completely woeful parking of an interstellar spaceship in the playground had rudely interrupted the playing of the children and the boredom of the staff. Now, as the staffs at Cuthbert’s Primary School were not trained for such situations, and fearing irate parents who refused to accept Acts of God as absolving the school of any blame in the incident, they had called upon the local law enforcement. And an ambulance. This was lying to waste, unused.

The head teacher was panicking, having had too few smokes and dozed too long on the spacecraft’s fumes. Fiddling with his wristwatch, he looked in every aspect a man completely out of his depth. These moments occur to us all in life. Perhaps, he should have taken some refuge in the thought that his moment of complexion occurred at the same time as everyone left alive in the area. Life can often be full of such face saving remedies, if short on woefully parked spacecraft.

The door to the spaceship fell forward, crushing an orphaned football and silencing the milling crowd. Everyone stood fixated, except for the poor headmaster, whose nervous disposition and fume induced asthma attack had turned to a gibbering wreck. The lights danced upon the gates of the school and pronounced the heaviest of impending arrivals. This was the stage the world was set at, and the arrival of the main characters was hastily expected. An awe inspired gasp filled the air. The nearest thing on Earth they could be described in connection with would be red and yellow kangaroo/velociraptor hybrids, and even then they looked nothing like that. Truly alien.

First contact soon followed. A policeman went over to the group and dropped dead. That is to say, he just dropped dead. There was no malicious intent on the aliens seemingly, no firing of weapons. The man just plain as day gave up on life on the spot. Perhaps he had a bad heart? To compound this, another police officer soon went the same way. People watching took the only suitable recourse to action and ran like the wind, screaming all the way. The first alien watched them with a look of almost incomprehension before turning to the headmaster, who was just starting to come around. This alien flicked through a pamphlet it held in its claws and read aloud.

“Bonjour! Nous venons dans la paix.” Silence. Linguistics was not one of the headmasters strong points. The creature looked back at its tourist brochure, and flicked through another few pages with its claw. “Angleeesh!” It cried. The headmaster nodded weakly, and it tried again.