Today’s A To Z Challenge is H, I hope. I don’t even know what day it is. It could be Cucumbersday for all I know. Time is an illusion and Eereeeníans are immune to it. That’s my story, and you’re sticking to it. Today’s story is about Hitch. It includes some callbacks to previous A To Z Challenge stories, Abby and Charlie. This is fully functional as a stand-alone but reading the others will provide a more in-depth story.
“Gorgonzola,” Hitch swore, as he lay on his back looking up at the sky.
Cheese is highly regarded on Zechisten, as it should be on all planets. References to cheese, when used as such, are considered high profanity and thus popular among the youth. His time on Earth has given him a whole new list of cheese varieties to blaspheme.
After the day’s training session, Hitch received a visit from his best friend, Abby.
“What’s going on with you?” Abby asked, commencing a conversation that would sound a lot like something one might see on one of Earth’s sitcoms or afterschool specials.
“I should be one of the squad leaders,” said Hitch.
“I think Captain Grek agrees,” said Abby.
“Then, why does he push me so hard?” asked Hitch.
“He knows you can do better, and he needs you to be your best,” said Abby.
“Golly gee whiz! I thought if I won the big sports game match, Dad would love me,” said Timmy.
“Your father loves you just swell,” said Mrs. Dad.
“I heard rumors that Fhart is going to be a squad leader,” said Hitch.
“I think it’s pronounced ‘Fot,’” said Abby.
“Whatever,” said Hitch. “I’ll end up on a squad under Captain Fhart Gobbler. He hates me just because I made a fart joke one time… or seven… teen. It’s funny. I can’t help it. Why in the universe is his name Fhart? Wouldn’t you change your name to something yelpsnig like Hitch?”
“You just have to learn not to be so reckless and cavalier,” said Abby, “and focus better.”
“You’re right,” said Hitch. “I’ll show them. I’ll be the fastest and bravest. I won’t take any cheese from anybody.”
“That’s not what that means,” said Abby.
“Yeah,” said Hitch, with a dreamy look in his eyes. He ushered Abby out before she could elaborate on his deficiencies and ways to fix them, which was one of his deficiencies.
The next day, Captain Grek set-up an obstacle course. Hitch threw himself into it. He got out to a considerable lead over the others in his group but failed to plan and strategize. He took a wrong turn and ended up not finishing the course.
A week later, Hitch found himself grouped with George, who broke records with half his flight tests while crashing the other half of the time, Kip, who could only perform when the other Yortians weren’t around, and Abby, who didn’t seem to care about training at all. Hitch had his command, and this group of outcasts and underachievers was to be his squad. It crossed his mind that he may have just been put in charge of the janitorial staff.
One morning, Abby brought him into her room. There, Hitch was introduced to someone he had never seen before. The R.A.D. was full of a plethora of species of aliens, but he had never even seen one like this.
“Who is this?” asked Hitch.
“I’m Charlie. You must be Hitch,” said Charlie. “I’ve heard ever so much about you.”
Hitch looked at Charlie, confused. “I haven’t heard anything about you.”
“Hitch, this is my dog, Charlie,” said Abby.
“What in the universe is a dog?” asked Hitch.
“I am,” said Charlie. “I’m a dog. Well, sort of. You see, I used to be a dog. Now, I’m… Well, I’m still a dog…”
Abby looked up dogs on the human’s archaic, low-powered version of the Intergalactic Interweb. This only served to confuse Hitch more.
“What’s a pet?”
Further explanation got Hitch up to, “Are we pets? The humans kept us in quarantine for a long time.”
“No, we were more prisoners,” said Abby.
“What’s the difference?” asked Hitch.
“Pets are subservient but willingly so,” said Charlie.
“Subservient?” asked Hitch.
“One who obeys someone else,” said Abby.
“Are we Captain Grek’s pets?” asked Hitch.
“Does he lavish you with love and affection?” asked Charlie.
“No,” said Hitch.
“Then, you’re just his subservient,” said Charlie.
Abby and Charlie finally got Hitch to understand the completely alien concepts. He wasn’t out of questions, though.
“So, how is your dog standing upright and speaking English?”
“I invented an anthropomorphizing device,” said Abby.
“Now, you’re not speaking English,” said Hitch.
“It means I gave Charlie Yamfennian-like qualities,” said Abby. “My device made it so she can stand upright, speak English, and use her paws like hands.”
“What are you going to do with her?” asked Hitch. “How are you going to hide her?”
“We’re going to hide her in plain sight,” said Abby. “She’s going to be part of our squad.”
“Our squad is already the lowest ranked in R.A.D. This is only going to make it worse,” said Hitch. “Captain Grek can’t find out about this, Abbs.”
“I have a plan,” said Abby.
For more on Abby’s plan see Charlie’s A To Z Challenge