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Conrad opened his eyes to a view of a massive blue globe.  He jerked back and twisted around in the microgravity.  He touched something solid in front of him.  A window.

He pushed against the window and turned around.  Conrad scanned the small room, no larger than a public bathroom stall, and empty except for an EV spacesuit and door.  He studied the view through the window.  Neptune, he thought.  How did I get here?

Then, it all flooded back to him.

The strange taste of the cocktail she gave him. The kiss that went on till he could not remember.

The micky was wearing off now. And, as his head began to clear, he became more and more distraught.

He should have never boasted about his old NASA days! He was just a guy with a pocket protector and a big mouth. And, now he was orbiting Neptune!

“Good morning, Navigator Conrad. Are you ready for the conditions of your next mission?” a disembodied but pleasant feminine voice inquired.

“Yes,” Conrad squeaked.

“You will meet with Navigator Thornton in 2 hours. He will give you the mind controller prototype A. He will then tell you your human target.”


Fresh from the space’s microgravity, he had a hard time keeping up with the tour.

He was so angry. He could have been assigned the president of the United States, the queen of England, anybody…

How did he get stuck following around all the yokels at Dollyworld trying to get a moment with Dolly Parton? What good could controlling her mind do for the Alien United Front?



Translation from the Neptunian dialect

“Daddy, I will just die if I don’t get Dolly Parton to play my sweet sixteen!”


photo by laweekly.com