I’m Coy. I crash-landed my spaceship on this Pacific island hundreds of years ago. Captain Plucky and her friend Lmao became stranded trying to rescue me, and Deadpan came later. Deadpan and Lmao are comedians.
We eventually got the internet and landed a gig helping writer David Davis make Alien Resort comics for newspapers. A group called the Beacons of Night said we were taking jobs from Earthlings. Mr. Davis went to prison for hiring us, and now we’re in charge of writing the comics.
I write regular posts to keep readers up to date. This introduction will always be at the top of the Developing Story (home) page. The most recent post update immediately follows. And if I tell a joke at the end of a post, it’s not part of the story; it’s just something the comedians want me to say.
Be sure to visit the Alien Resort Museum page, which has clippings of our comics from Earth newspapers.
And if you want to catch up on the current episode or learn about previous episodes, including how I met and married Susan of Alpha Pegasi, or the birth of Princess, the daughter of Plucky and Deadpan, you can go to the Read a Single Episode page.
Plucky called Princess into the living room: “Somebody sent me an email about your blog.” Princess jumped up and down and clapped her hands. “Goody goody hooray,” she said. “They’re going to buy a souvenir from my store.” Plucky sighed. “Sit down,” she said. “This message came from a welfare agency.” Princess turned serious, then brightened again and asked: “Is this the part where the mean old witch comes and takes me away?” Deadpan asked a witch for cooking lessons; he says he stirred up a hornet’s nest.
Somebody on the king’s main island looked at Blog by Princess and became concerned. Plucky received an email from a welfare agency stating that they have a number of questions concerning the “environment in which the child is situated”. No child, they said, should be living in a spaceship. They added that they were especially concerned about education, since their records showed no enrollment by a child who lives in a spaceship. When Deadpan’s robot complained about being obsolete, Deadpan said it was just letting off steam.
I’m looking at the internet’s newest website; it’s called Blog by Princess–Living In a Spaceship. The About page says: “I’m a real princess and I live in a spaceship with my mother and my uncle Lmao. My father was a prince in an alternate universe and now he lives in a shack by the lagoon.” Plucky is supervising the effort, and the account and email are in her name. I just got a text from Plucky wanting to see me right away. Lmao still hasn’t written his autobiography; he says that’s the story of his life.
“There’s no stopping her.” Plucky dropped by the next day and told us that ever since they left here, all Princess has talked about is starting a blog. “She didn’t even know what she was going to write about so I asked her what she was interested in. She said she knew she needed a subject that would keep her motivated but it also had to be one that would interest her readers. ‘Mom,’ she said finally, ‘I’m going to write about living in a spaceship’.” When I asked Lmao if he had any ideas for his spare time, he replied: “I could write a book.”
I was thinking about what I was going to post when Plucky and Princess dropped by to visit. While Susan and Plucky were talking, Princess came over to my desk and asked me what I was doing. When I told her I made regular posts on the internet, her eyes got big and she said: “I want to do that too. Can I Mommy?” Plucky replied that there are certain responsibilities with having a blog, and certain hazards, but she would think about it. Princess jumped up and down and clapped her hands. “I only said I would think about it.” When Deadpan worked for 23 hours straight, he said he was calling it a day.
When I first heard that Susan’s family’s genes had become part of the human genome, I thought it sounded like something out of science fiction. Then I realized that this was one of those plotlines that was just too unbelievable to become a subject of fiction. The Beacons of Night, finding it difficult to explain to their followers just who should be considered Earthlings, are calling it junk science. And Heather has an interesting topic to submit to the Journal of Anthropology. I asked Lmao if he ever uses an ellipsis and he replied: “To make a long story short, yes.”
My wife’s family landed on Alien Resort island sixty thousand years ago: a father, mother, adult son, and the infant Susan. Because of animosity between father and son, and thanks to a spaceship whose design for water landings rendered it a seaworthy craft, the son set sail out over an unknown ocean. “He made landfall,” the anthropologist Heather told Susan and me. “And his genes became part of the human genome.” Deadpan once invented a heat shield; he says it never caught fire.
“This might not make any difference,” Susan’s father said to the anthropologist Heather. “But I‘m going to give you some family history.” He looked at Susan. “You were too young to remember your brother. And it was easier for us to tell you that you had a brother that died. But the truth is that he and I had a quarrel, and he set sail across the ocean. We never heard from him again.” Susan gripped my hand. Then finally, Heather broke the silence: “I have work to do,” she said quietly. Lmao says that if he ever goes on an ocean cruise, he would like to play bridge.
“We never had any contact with humans,” Susan’s mother said to Heather. We were inside the grass hut where Susan grew up. Heather looked all about, wide-eyed. The room contained nothing more than handmade household items, but I imagine that as an anthropologist, she must have been fascinated to be looking at a decor that no one on Earth had ever envisioned. “There’s one thing I should probably mention,” Susan’s father added quietly. Lmao says he learned how to make furniture so he would have something to fall back on.
The anthropologist Heather stopped by our spaceship this morning, doffed her pith helmet, then stood just inside the door taking notes. She commented on a plant we had in the window sill, stating that it looked South American. Susan replied that the seeds for the plant came from Alpha Pegasi: “My parents have grown these plants in this island’s mountains for as long as I can remember.” Heather added some notes, and without looking up, said: “Next will be a trip to the mountains.” Deadpan knows how to bind pages together; he says he learned it from a book.
Susan and I met her father at the barrier and told him about the results of the DNA test. “It sounds like somebody made a mistake,” he said. “We’re not Earthlings in any sense of the word. Your mother and I never saw an Earthling until the day of your wedding.” I emailed the king and he recommended we meet with an anthropologist. Susan’s family agreed, and a few days later, we went down to the pier to welcome Heather. Lmao once hid from a rescue party because he heard they were out to get him.
“Your DNA is about what I expected,” Deadpan told me as he flipped through a ream or so of paper he referred to as the summary. “A mish-mash of ancient galactic civilizations.” Then he turned to Susan. “I don’t know what to think about yours. Some similarities to Coy’s, but…” He looked at me. “Go on,” I said. He turned to a page nearly covered with highlights, then said to Susan: “Your DNA is part human.” When I thanked Lmao for testing my new suntan lotion, he said it was no skin off his back.
Deadpan’s shack is largely impassable because the rooms are crowded with junk and trash. In the back is a laboratory where he spends most of his time, working in secret. We never know the nature of his projects until he finishes them, is forced to reveal them (like the Alien Search computer game), or requires our help or participation. Today he dropped by and told us that he wants to construct a model of our genome in case we get sick. Susan and I gave him DNA samples. When Lmao asked what DNA is, Deadpan said it’s one of those little things in life that makes a difference.
Plucky was shocked when Deadpan texted her to bring Princess to his shack to play chess. Her first thought was that no baby should go to a dump like that. That thought lasted about a second; she gathered Princess and carried her to the shack, almost running. On their return trip, she asked Princess what she was going to do when her father got tired of getting beat at chess and Princess replied: “That’s why I’m going to have you buy me some video games.” I asked Deadpan how far you can see with a good telescope; he said the sky’s the limit.
Plucky, holding Princess, led Deadpan into the control room. “The master control’s emitting a warning,” Plucky said. “I’ve tried everything.” Princess raised a finger. “Check the secondary thermistor.” Deadpan grunted. “It sounds like the secondary thermistor,” he told Plucky. Princess sat and watched as he made the repair, handing him tools that he reflexively accepted. As he was leaving, she said: “Daddy, I’ll bet I can beat you at chess.” When I told Lmao that I liked how he fixed my roof, he said he nailed it.
Plucky told me she gave up trying to make Deadpan love her a long time ago. However, she’s determined he isn’t going to ignore their child. She texted him that a system on her spaceship had gone into overload and he needed to come right away. She was holding Princess when she answered the door. “Is that my Daddy?” the baby asked, and Plucky nearly dropped her. Deadpan shrugged. “On my planet,” he said, “Baby talk means the baby talks.” Lmao didn’t want to visit the baby chicks because he didn’t want to have to walk on eggshells.
Susan and I headed toward the lagoon to tell Deadpan about his daughter’s birth. When we knocked on the door of his shack, a siren went off. He opened the door then pulled down on an iron lever and the siren stopped. He invited us in but we were only able to stand just inside the door, as the floor was strewn with pizza boxes, empty bottles and electronic parts. When we gave him the news, he asked if we wanted to go to the bar and grill and get something to eat. When I told Deadpan that his house was messy, he said: “That’s rubbish.”
At 3:10 a.m. PDT the baby girl called Princess arrived into the world. The name Princess was suggested by the father Deadpan because he was a prince in his alternate universe. Plucky told him that a name should identify who a baby is rather than what she is, but assented anyway because the idea for the name came from Deadpan and because she likes the name too. As she held the baby, her question to Susan and the queen’s midwife was: “Where’s Deadpan?” I asked Lmao if he ever gave a baby a pacifier and he replied: “Yes, for crying out loud.”
“You’re fortunate,” Plucky says to Susan. “Your father was strict but he was able to relate to you on a personal level. And Coy loves you. When I was on my home planet, I spent my time trying to make guys love me. And they, like Deadpan and my father, were the type that never could. Our daughter, born an Earthling, will someday go out on her own, and I’m worried that the cycle is going to continue.” Lmao’s family was in the cement business but he didn’t want to follow in his father’s footsteps.
For as long as I’ve known Deadpan, I can’t say that we’ve ever become friends. We’ll engage in long, friendly conversations but they’re always about some project he’s working on and never about any of us. For me this is okay because I’m open to different forms of engagement. But a father needs to be able to relate to his children, especially a daughter, because this is the bond that becomes the source of her self-image. Deadpan says we need to look for new ways to entertain ourselves but we keep kicking the can down the road.
“My baby’s gestation period will be short, a matter of weeks,” Plucky said. “And I already know that it’s going to be a girl.” She sighed. “I’m not worried for myself; I can figure out what I need to know about raising a child. I’m thinking more about the girl’s future.” She closed her eyes. “Deadpan, you mean,” I replied. A tear ran down her cheek. “He’s just like my father.” When Plucky asked Lmao for tips on raising a newborn, he said maybe there’s a secret formula.
“Thanks for coming by,” Plucky said as she let me in. “I haven’t been doing so well lately.” Gloomy is a word I have never associated with Plucky, but I can’t think of a better way to describe her as she motioned for me to have a seat. “What’s wrong?” She sighed then replied sardonically: “What could possibly go wrong when I have Deadpan as a lover?” She paused, as if looking for words; then she wiped a tear and stated: “I’m pregnant.” When Lmao witnessed a birth, he said it was a once in a lifetime.
Plucky and I are managers. Not in any formal sense of course, but over the years we’ve assumed a division of duties that works to maintain Alien Resort on an even keel. In a nutshell, she takes care of the technological and interpersonal issues and I manage the business matters and outside communications. Sometimes I don’t see her for a few days but we nonetheless maintain contact in one way or another throughout the course of the day. Recently I became concerned because she hadn’t responded to my emails; I decided to pay her a visit. I asked Lmao what his first day on the job was like. He says they showed him who’s the boss.
Marco and I are natural friends. Everyone who reads my posts knows that my father used to tell me that I would never amount to anything. Marco’s father on the other hand pushed him to become an astronaut. If Marco got a 98 on a math test, his father would ask him what happened to the other two percent. Marco says he’s going to force himself to change the trajectory (but not the vocabulary) of his life once he returns to the mainland. Plucky suggested taking an interest test to find out his true passion, and to seek behavioral therapy to keep moving toward his new goal. I asked Lmao what’s the longest word he knows; he said it’s hard to say.
Marco agreed to allow me to hypnotize him and gave me permission to make the results public. As we suspected, he isn’t from another dimension. He remembers entering Earth astronaut training but he didn’t make the cut. He then set off sailing around the world in a catamaran. He was caught in a storm and got tossed about the deck. His next memory was that of Lmao pulling him from the water. Coy wondered how Deadpan beat him on a test; Deadpan says he took a page out of Coy’s book.
Deadpan and I visited Marco in the jail beneath the pier. Marco admitted he was making gunpowder, and told us he intended to use it for fuel to power my spaceship. I replied that if he could get that to work, then he must be some kind of rocket scientist, because I’ve been stranded here for three hundred years. He said he was desperate; he states that if we sent him to the mainland, they would lock him up for being delusional, and he would never get back to his own dimension. He agreed to allow Plucky to conduct a psychological exam. I told Deadpan about my idea for a miniature flying saucer; he said it sounds like a pie in the sky.
“Marco’s in jail,” Deadpan said. “I arrested him.” I invited Police Chief Deadpan in and he told me how he had discovered Marco at the beach campsite stirring a large kettle. Beside the kettle were piles of ground match heads, charcoal, and cat poop, which Deadpan recognized as ingredients for making gunpowder. He then arrested Marco on suspicion of threat to public safety. I told Lmao that I can’t ever win at violent video games. He said stop beating yourself up.
The king emailed me to say that he was unable to come up with a missing persons report that might shed light on the identity of our guest. Marco didn’t seem bothered about not knowing his own name but instead he was interested in finding out exactly when the king’s ship would arrive to pick him up. The mystery deepened this morning when Deadpan knocked at my door, early and out of breath. Lmao says they once had a new guy who never said anything; they wondered if he might be a plant.
Because Marco had become such good friends with Lmao, Plucky invited him to stay with her and Lmao. I emailed the king and received a disappointing response: the naval fleet was tied up in a mission and wouldn’t be able to pick up the delusional human for another week or two. In the meantime we were forced to listen to how he had always wanted to be an astronaut and how he volunteered for the secret mission to visit another dimension. When I asked Lmao what it was like being cloned, he said at first he was just a bundle of nerves.
“I’m an astronaut,” Marco began. “I was part of a secret mission. I blasted off from Earth but that was in another dimension. I splashed down, and ended up here, in this dimension.” I looked around at the others; they appeared to be hanging on his every word. My thoughts were: “Come on everyone, he’s either a nut job or a con man.” I couldn’t wait to notify our landlord the king and have him picked up. When I told Deadpan that my carrier promises unlimited voice calls, he said talk is cheap.
Marco stood up as we approached his campsite: Plucky, Lmao, Susan and me. He had the look of a sailor: muscular, tanned, and coarse. He didn’t seem at all surprised and motioned toward some rocks for us to have a seat. “Lmao told me there were others.” He looked at Susan. “Are you human?” I thought the question sounded personal, and my response, for me, was curt: “We’re the ones asking the questions.” I asked Deadpan what he would do if he were rich and he replied: “That’s the million dollar question.”
“Tell us about the Earthling.” It was around noon and Lmao had just gotten up and stepped out onto the patio. Looking a little surprised, he glanced at Plucky, then nodded to Susan and me. “We’re such good friends,” he began dreamily. “He’s from another dimension. I named him Marco, because he doesn’t remember his name. I found him bobbing in the ocean. He was in a life jacket.” Lmao used to wear an expensive suit; he says he had it made.
Plucky asked Lmao about his nightly disappearances and he told her that he was out getting exercise. “I’ve known Lmao for two thousand years,” she said to Susan and me. “Getting exercise is at the bottom of his list.” We decided to follow him, just to make sure nothing was wrong. He headed for the dunes, and just beyond the dunes we spotted a campfire. He stopped, and I rubbed my eyes. In the light of the campfire an Earthling was waving for him to approach. I asked Deadpan how the exercise class was going; he said he hasn’t learned squat.
Every evening Susan asks me if we can go for a walk. First, we stop at the pier to sit and watch the sunset. Then we drop by the gift shop. With the tourists gone, we’ve turned the gift shop into a clubhouse called Lmao’s Bar and Grill. But the past few nights, the door has been locked. We decided to walk up the hill to Plucky’s ship where Lmao lives and make sure everything’s okay. Plucky looked surprised to see us: “I thought he was at the gift shop.” Deadpan found dust mites on Mars; he says he’s still scratching his head.
Susan and I had the most wonderful honeymoon. We boarded a ship to the archipelago’s main island, stayed at a luxury hotel, and spent some time sightseeing. Susan insisted that I plan our activities and said she would be happy no matter what we did. She has adapted well to living in the modern world, and I’m indebted to Plucky and Lmao for the immersion they provided while she lived with them. And last night, I carried her over the threshold of what is now, our spaceship. Lmao’s new travel bag is his all time favorite; he says it’s an open and shut case.
Today’s wedding, with social distancing in effect, is being officiated by Plucky of Alien Resort. Plucky is a spaceship captain in whom I have vested the authority to join Coy of Alien Resort and Susan of Alpha Pegasi in the bonds of holy matrimony. They have just now taken their vows “to love, honor, and obey”. The rings are exchanged, Plucky looks at the bride and groom in turn, then states: “By the power vested in me by his majesty the king of the archipelago, I now pronounce you man and wife.” After everyone left the altar, I told best man Deadpan that it was a lovely wedding for a happy couple. Deadpan replied: “They go hand in hand.”
We’re gathered backstage at the pavilion. Susan, flanked by ladies-in-waiting sent by the queen, is talking to her father, and Lmao is giving me honeymoon advice. Best man Deadpan, accompanied by canines Jett and Toby, pulls out his police chief handcuffs and offers them to Susan. “In case he tries to flee,” he joked. Susan laughs, then looks inquisitively at me, and then everyone laughs. The music begins.
Today’s joyous event is taking place in the open-air pavilion we used for cruise excursion tours. Lmao has done a beautiful job with decorations, using floral arrangements supplied by bluejayblog. Deadpan will be Coy’s best man, Susan’s father is giving her away, and Coy will be assisted by groomsman Dan Rosandich of Dans Cartoons. I asked Deadpan if he would like to escort a bride down the aisle someday; he said he would give his right arm.
My groomsman’s name is Dan Rosandich, the owner of Dans Cartoons. You may remember last year when Dan helped Alien Resort out of a tough jam. The Beacons of Night had intimidated our newspaper editors into withdrawing our comics, and Dan stepped forward to offer us a spot in his extraterrestrial cartoon section. The editors followed his lead and we became prosperous again. Dan says he’s honored to be in the wedding, and everyone at Alien Resort is humbled by the visit of a legendary figure. When I asked Lmao how his art class was going, he said: “I won’t paint you a pretty picture.”
Queen Ramona, the revered queen of the archipelago, is hosting a wedding reception for Coy and Susan, and everyone on Earth is invited. The reception will take place via Zoom on Wednesday, July 15 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. GMT (1:00-3:00 p.m. CDT). No password or sign-in is required; just click on this link: Zoom Reception. The reception is a costume (optional) party. Bring your favorite party food and beverage, use whatever screen name you like, and choose whether or not you want to appear on video. Lmao says that anyone who wants party favors will have to toot their own horn.
Tonight Susan and I are sitting on the patio of Plucky’s spaceship where we just finished a great dinner that Susan cooked. Yesterday I proposed to her on bended knee. I began by saying I loved her at first sight but that I’m no prize. I told her how I negligently crashed my spaceship, an event that sometimes still leaves me with feelings of unworthiness. She replied that Plucky already told her about the crash; then she hugged me and said she wants nothing more than to love, honor, and obey me. I asked Deadpan if he ever thinks about the stars at the edge of the universe. He said they’re the furthest things from his mind.
I’m Plucky, a spaceship captain and the ranking officer at Alien Resort island. I’m proud to be a friend of both Coy, the founder of Alien Resort, and my roommate Susan, who lived with her parents in the island’s mountains for thousands of years. We hope you’ll join in their good fortune by adding your link to the wedding guest book. And watch for details about the costume (optional) Zoom reception–everyone’s invited. I asked Deadpan if he was going to pick out a goose; he said he might take a gander.
I met Susan’s father at the barrier and asked for his daughter’s hand in marriage. He looked me in the eye and said that Susan’s well-being was a great concern of his. I replied that in this marriage, Susan’s concerns are the only ones that matter to me. He blinked; then he sighed and extended his hand, which I shook. He confided that he may have been overprotective through the years, and added that he’s thankful that his daughter’s happiness has fallen into the hands of someone so capable and loving. I asked Deadpan why he wasn’t at the solstice party; he said it had been a long day.
The secret is out: Coy and Susan are getting married. I’m writing this post to let you know that all you kings and queens are invited to share in the big event. We’ve added a guest book page to the Alien Resort website and we want to include your blog name (or other preferred name) and a link to your url. All you need to do is simply like this post, and we’ll get your site info from there, or use our contact page to provide your site name or preferred name/profile name/fake name, and url. I told Deadpan that I’m even going to invite the ghost; Deadpan said that’s the spirit.
“Am I beautiful?” Susan asks me. That’s a strange question I said to myself, coming from the most beautiful woman on the planet Earth. I thought well duh, but instead I said: “You’re the most beautiful woman on the planet Earth.” What she did next came as a total surprise: she kissed me. Then she kissed me again. Then I kissed her. When at last I looked around, everyone else was gone. Once when I asked Deadpan to tell me what electricity felt like, he said to go fly a kite.
A thousand thoughts cross my mind. Is Plucky going to shoot Susan out of jealousy over Deadpan? Why is Lmao looking at me? I, the inveterate peacemaker, blurt out the first thought that comes into my head: “Deadpan isn’t attracted to Susan because Deadpan doesn’t respond to beauty.” Now everyone’s staring at me; Plucky lowers her ray gun, and Susan walks over and looks into my eyes. Lmao never jumped off a cliff; he says it was just a bluff.
This is the scene as it unfolds in my yard: Susan is standing frozen next to Deadpan who has just dropped his antenna. Plucky, too angry to even speak, is pointing a ray gun at Susan. Lmao, who heard the racket and ran over here, is crouched behind a bush. Plucky approaches Susan. “Stay away from Deadpan, he’s mine,” Plucky says fiercely. Lmao jumps up. “Plucky,” he says softly. “She doesn’t want Deadpan.” Then, for some reason, Lmao looks at me. After Plucky made it through a sandstorm, Lmao said she must have a lot of grit.
Deadpan has built a quantum transceiver to attempt to communicate with life on exoplanets. He likes to set up in my yard at night, and lately with a loosening of social distancing restrictions, Susan has been dropping by to help. Shy around the rest of us, she seems at ease with Deadpan, possibly due to his lack of affectation. Last night as Deadpan was holding the antenna and Susan was steadying him, Plucky showed up from between the bushes and pointed a ray gun at Susan. With a look in her eyes such as I have never seen, Plucky shouted: “Let go of him you wretch.” When I told Lmao that I was double jointed, he told me to pat myself on the back.
Even as our newly discovered island resident Susan is living with Plucky, she has made regular visits to the edge of the barrier to communicate with her parents. Today her father paid us a visit. Although he set down his stick before entering Plucky’s yard, he gazed upon us with suspicion and barely grunted acquiescence when his daughter pointed out her new arrangements. I might be imagining things but I thought he looked at me longer than he looked at the others. I asked Lmao how many musicians were in his orchestra and he replied: “more than you could shake a stick at”.
“Papa forbade me to go beyond the barrier,” Susan began. She was referring to the mass of thorns and thickets that separates us from the isolated center of the island. “Using a machete, I carved out a bower in the thicket, enlarging it gradually to the outer edge of the barrier.” She looked at Deadpan and me. “One day, I witnessed the two of you chasing your intruder. The sight of intelligent life outside of my family aroused my curiosity in an overwhelming way.” I asked Lmao how he hurt his forehead and he said that he, a Martian and an Earthling walked into a bar.
Plucky whispered to the woman, then glanced around the room. “This is Susan,” she began, “at least according to the translation software.” She looked at her notes, then continued: “Susan lives with her mother and father in a cavern in the mountains of Alien Resort island. Her family, like us, arrived here from another part of the universe, attracted to the island by the same magnetic circumstance that brought down Coy’s ship. Susan, I’ll let you piggyback on that.” Deadpan says that if he keeps going to all these meetings, the chair will begin to recognize him.
I entered the conference room for our spur-of-the-moment meeting, and my jaw dropped. Sitting between Plucky and Lmao and talking back and forth with them was the most beautiful woman I have ever seen. I knew but couldn’t believe that this was the same woman whom, screaming and disheveled, I had assisted in securing to a chair just over 24 hours earlier. She glanced at me; I regained my composure and took a seat. I asked Deadpan how fast light travels, and he replied: “faster than you think.”
Plucky stopped by this morning and brought me the most astonishing news: The woman who is now a guest in Plucky’s spaceship is an extraterrestrial who has lived in a remote area of Alien Resort island for thousands of years. The woman told Plucky she wants to meet with all of us and share her story. I sent the king an email update, then went to Deadpan’s shack to inform him about our meeting to take place this afternoon in Plucky’s conference room. When I asked Deadpan if I could borrow his suspended animation chamber, he said: ”Knock yourself out”.
We knew we couldn’t just leave the woman tied to a chair so Plucky had me help her carry the chair into the spaceship’s parlor, a secure room; then I left. Plucky stopped by my ship later that night and reported that the woman was now untied and asleep in the parlor. Guessing that the woman was the one who had taken the lipstick, Plucky calmed her down by appealing to her vanity, helping her bathe and dress, and summoning roommate Lmao to don a mask, do her hair and assist with makeup. Lmao couldn’t get the lid off the ointment jar. He said: “therein lies the rub.”
As we observe the woman struggling in her restraints and muttering unfamiliar syllables, Plucky explains that she caught her breaking into a shed. She told her to stop, and when the woman charged, Plucky demobilized her with a mini static electricity generator. Plucky’s translation software is finally booting up, and the first words we hear are: “Let me go, outsiders, or we will hurt you.” When I asked Deadpan to use a cuss word in a sentence, he said: “Right now my mind is a blank.”
I was walking along the beach this morning when I heard a shriek, followed by a commotion originating from the direction of Plucky’s ship. When I arrived, Plucky was struggling to restrain a young female, all covered with mud and extremely disheveled in appearance. Plucky shouted for me to bring a chair, and together she and I sat the woman down and secured her to the chair. Lmao once knew a cave woman; he says he carried a torch for her.
Lmao, who is Plucky’s roommate, invited me to the patio of their spaceship for a tropical drink. Plucky leaned out the window and asked Lmao if he had her lipstick. He replied that it wasn’t his color and joked that maybe Ronald Wayne Devers took it when he took her cat. “Mr. Devers didn’t take it,” Plucky replied. “The lipstick went missing after he left the island. I know where I put it, and I don’t see how it could possibly be gone.” I’ve never taken inventory; Deadpan says I don’t know what I’m missing.
I’m talking to Ronald Wayne Devers as he finishes painting our pier before the king’s ship picks him up tomorrow. Painting the pier is the sentence I gave him when he admitted stealing Plucky’s cat. He says he feels better than he has in a long time because he’s doing something useful. He thinks he might start a painting business when he goes back home. He knows he doesn’t want anything more to do with the Beacons of Night. “You wanna know what I think?” he says. “When a Beacon leader tells people that being born on another planet makes someone bad, it makes those people feel important because they were born on Earth. And when you make people feel important, they’ll do things for you.” Deadpan said he examined the paint job until he was blue in the face.
Police Chief Deadpan booked the prisoner into a large space under the pier and stood guard as Plucky conducted a psychological exam. Mr. Devers told her that while growing up he used to skip school and barely made it through. He agrees with Plucky that skipping school was a way to get back at his alcoholic parents for ignoring him. He says he joined the Beacons of Night because they made him feel important. He says they treated him like an equal, and made him forget how stupid he felt whenever he was in the company of educated people. The leaders told him he’d be a hero if he joined the mission to steal our comics. Lmao used to drop a lot of classes; he says he had it down to a science.
Anyone reading my posts knows that I was raised by a father who told me I would never amount to anything. I learned to deal with my feelings of inadequacy by avoiding difficult tasks, and thereby avoiding failure. Plucky, our resident psychologist, told me to plow ahead anyway with difficult tasks (such as giving speeches) in spite of my feelings, and with time, those feelings would subside. Although I’m much more convinced of my ability than I used to be, I was nevertheless surprised and humbled when the others knocked on my door this morning and said they wanted me to act as a judge in making a decision about the fate of our prisoner. Lmao handed me a black robe that the king had sent over, and ranking officer Plucky swore me in. My first order was for Plucky to conduct a psychological exam of Mr. Devers. At first Lmao didn’t want to become an explorer; he says now he’s starting to cave.
The cat licked its paw while Deadpan handcuffed the prisoner. We made our way back to the cave entrance and set the captive down on a rock. He said his name was Ronald Wayne Devers. His orders were to come ashore with the others and act as a lookout. Then the others left him behind because he stumbled and fell. After they deserted him, he hid in the cave. He says he stole Plucky’s cat because he was lonely. Lmao once asked some prisoners for help but they told him their hands were tied.
Police Chief Deadpan and I put on camo gear and face masks and headed through the woods. Just as we were about to enter the cave, the cat emerged from the dark. “Stay,” Deadpan told it, and the cat ran back into the cave. Deadpan shrugged, then we followed. We pointed our flashlights as the cat led us through a labyrinth of paths and passages, finally stopping at the entrance to a chamber. Deadpan shone his light inside, and we spotted the fugitive lying down fast asleep. Lmao says his cat waits for him with bells on.
“Play that footage back one more time,” Deadpan demanded. In all these years I had never heard him speak with so much emotion. We’re standing (apart) in Plucky’s control room watching some unbelievable security camera footage. Last night the fugitive Beacon walked into Plucky’s yard and stole her cat. “Let’s go get that guy,” Deadpan said to me. He exchanged a glance with Plucky; then we left. When a thief tried to steal Lmao’s sand, Lmao said: “That’s where I draw the line.”
Last night’s footage from a security camera shows the fugitive breaking into my supply shed. The only things missing are a gallon of vanilla ice cream, a bottle of chocolate syrup, and a bowl and spoon. The fugitive was apparently very hungry, as it appears he mixed the ingredients while still here, and left a trail leading away from my shed. Deadpan tracked the drips through the woods to the entrance of a cave in a remote area of the island. Lmao once dropped his ice cream into a volcano; he says he totally lost it.
The Beacons of Night wasted no time in claiming responsibility for the theft of our comics. But missing from their blog post is any mention of the cohort they left behind on Alien Resort island. We’re speculating whether leaving him was accidental and they’re planning to return to rescue him, or if they meant to leave him to create additional mischief. We’re engaging in these discussions at the same time that Deadpan, now the island police chief, is coordinating a hunt. Ground control once told Lmao that his spaceship was overloaded; he says they were talking trash.
We’re watching as Plucky plays back the footage from the island’s security cameras. A small boat comes ashore in a remote area and three humans set foot onto the beach, then disappear into the dunes. A few hours later, the camera reveals two humans reboarding, our comics in hand, and the boat setting sail. The look on everyone’s face turns to one of deep concern: An intruder is lurking on the island. I asked Deadpan if a one-inch footprint could be human, and he replied: “That’s one small step for a man.”
Our meeting to discuss the lost comics was scheduled for tonight but Plucky moved it up to noon. We logged into video conference, and Plucky began to speak immediately. She says that while reviewing security footage for clues on locating the missing comics, she made a stunning discovery: Two nights ago, a boat came ashore in a remote area of the island, and three humans disappeared through the dunes. As bad as that is, some of the follow-up footage is even scarier. Deadpan told me that he recently bought an acre of land that turned out to be quicksand. Then he added: “But the plot thickens.”
“Deadpan and I have an understanding,” Plucky began, as she put on a pot of water. “It’s not the world’s greatest romance, I’ll admit. We both give what we can.” I replied that I understood, and I really do. Deadpan has limited capacity for emotion, and Plucky has already explained how her father’s emotional distance left her in a vain quest for attachment. “We do what we can,” was all I could think to reply. Lmao went on a dating site; he says it crashed just as they were beginning to click.
I needed some distraction before the meeting so I got up early this morning to go fishing with Lmao. I headed over to Plucky’s spaceship where Lmao lives, and was surprised to see Deadpan coming out a side door. He seemed surprised to see me too; he murmured something about configuring modules then hurried away. A light came on from inside and Plucky opened the door. “Come on in,” she said. “You might as well know everything.” When I told Lmao that I would be at his door bright and early, he said, “Knock on wood.”
I can’t believe I misplaced a pile of comics. I know where I put them but now they’re gone. I feel like I let everyone down. This was a batch that we’ve been working on for the last two weeks. We were about to put them into final form and send them to editors. We’re going to have a meeting to figure out what to do next. Deadpan said that a black hole can even consume brain waves. Lmao replied: “Perish the thought.”
[this event was recorded prior to coronavirus–Coy] I just finished my introductory speech to our inaugural group of tourists. They sat in folding chairs at the pavilion as I recited the history of our landing here. Then we proceeded to the viewing area where Deadpan engaged their interest with an explanation of harmonic progression. The tourists appear entranced by whatever we say or do. They don’t even seem to mind as I type this post; instead they’re watching me with utter fascination.
A tourist asked Deadpan if he could calculate pi. Deadpan replied, “Do you want the short answer?”
[this event was recorded prior to coronavirus–Coy] I’m writing this post as the cruise tender boat approaches the pier. I wish you could see this place. We stayed up most of the night putting up banners (a big one in the center and one at each side), hanging paper lanterns, and blowing up balloons. We can hear the tourists’ voices as the boat draws near. Some of them are waving at us and a few are shouting to attract our attention. I’m busy rehearsing my speech while the others prepare to secure the tender. Lmao once had his spaceship painted; he says they did a number on it too.
The cruise line that docks at the king’s port has approved our application to host an excursion at Alien Resort island. A tour boat will dock at our pier three times a month and a group of tourists will walk onto the beach. From there I’ll lead them to the pavilion and give my introductory speech. Afterwards, we’ll proceed to the viewing area, where we’ll mingle and answer questions. Then they can visit the gift shop before reboarding their boat. Deadpan once got approval for a clinical trial; he says it was a shot in the arm.
A final requirement of the cruise line is that we maintain a basic stock of concessions for sale to the tourists along with souvenirs of their visit to Alien Resort. Lmao jumped at the chance of running the gift shop. When he admitted he didn’t know the first thing about money, Deadpan surprised everyone with a business plan and a spreadsheet calculator program he had written himself. Online visitors can purchase Alien Resort souvenirs at our online gift shop. Lmao says he could go into the candy business and make a mint.
Over the years we’ve done a lot of construction on the island, and some of that will be put to use to accommodate the tourists. We have a boardwalk leading from the pier, and a supply shed at the end of the boardwalk. This is where we’ll build a pavilion and set up chairs for the tourists to listen to my introductory speech. Deadpan and Lmao are serving as my pretend audience but sometimes they break out laughing even when I haven’t said anything funny. Deadpan says bricks are the best building material because nothing else stacks up.
As we struggle through the application for hosting a cruise excursion, a voice inside me says this is the easy part. The hard part will come when the first tourists arrive and their eyes are on me waiting to hear me speak. I’ll probably start thinking about how I negligently crashed my spaceship. Plucky says I’m creating this scenario because my father used to tell me I was going to fail. She says that negative past experiences create bad thoughts, but assures me that my speech will go just fine because I have the power of will. Lmao once had a bad camping experience; he says it was a real bear.
We met today in the conference room of Plucky’s spaceship to prepare a plan for the Alien Resort island excursion. The cruise line is looking for an adventure that will resonate with its customers while we at Alien Resort need the excursion to be manageable and respectful of our privacy. The others tell me I’m a natural for the job of guide but, putting it mildly, I’m not as confident as they are. Still, the cruise line needs a plan, and we’re putting it together for better or worse. I asked Deadpan how astronauts got into space. He says they stood on the shoulders of giants.
The island where the king resides has a port for docking cruise ships sailing from the mainland. As with all ports of call, the cruise lines advertise various excursions to sites in the vicinity of the port. All of us realize that hosting an excursion at Alien Resort will come with drawbacks. On the other hand, as shown by the example of the gamers, insulating ourselves completely from the rest of the world isn’t going to be possible. Deadpan recommends the Antarctic cruise; he says it’s Christmas in July.
Our landlord the king texted me stating that he wanted to talk to all of us together. We met in the conference room aboard Plucky’s spaceship and the king appeared on Skype. “The world’s beginning to take notice of Alien Resort,” he began. “The gamers brought home tales of their visit here, and everyone is curious. Unquestionably we must avoid another onslaught, so I have a proposal.” I asked Deadpan if he thought he would become a fortune teller someday. He said he doesn’t have a crystal ball.
I received an email today that must have been sent to me in error. The sender was a cruise line asking about the depth of our harbor and whether we allowed the sale of alcohol. All I could think to do was forward the email to the king, since I know he receives cruise ships from time to time. Lmao once brought a bottle of liquor aboard his spaceship; he says he put a dent in it.
About a week ago I went for a walk on the pier and noticed a ship in the distance. Other than supply ships sent by the king, we see very little marine traffic out here. But it does happen, and I didn’t think much of it until yesterday, when I spotted another ship. I told Plucky, and she deployed the radar. Deadpan decided to clean his telescope; he said it was giving him a black eye.
Plucky, holding a small box in her hand, walked over to where Deadpan was sitting. “Prince Deadpan and I discussed this earlier,” she told the others. Deadpan stood up as Plucky continued: “As the ranking officer of Alien Resort, I’m presenting you this badge and bestowing upon you the title of police chief of this island. I‘m confident that you will rule with strength and compassion just as you did in your previous universe.” She pinned on the badge as the others applauded warmly. Somebody once asked Lmao what a policeman does and he replied, “Search me.”
The island was ours once again, and it was time to celebrate. Lmao helped Plucky decorate her conference room, we had pizza and ice cream, and then Plucky stood up to speak. “We’re honored to be in the presence of royalty,” she began. Turning to Deadpan, she continued: “There isn’t anything we can do that would restore you to your princely realm in your alternate universe. But here’s what I have in mind.” A moment of silence is a solemn event; Lmao says it’s nothing to sneeze at.
We led the gamers to the pier and watched as the king’s landing craft inched its way to the mooring. Several sailors jumped out and lashed the ropes. Another sailor, in uniform, walked down the ramp and over to where we were waiting. The gamers grumbled as we instructed them to look up from their phones, then grew quiet as the sailor began to speak. When he announced that all of them were being invited to a lavish buffet aboard the king’s ship, they burst into cheers. When Lmao said he never gets any party favors, Deadpan told him he has to toot his own horn.
We’re bringing cookies, crackers, and candy to the beach as fast as we can–Earth teenagers can really eat. Meanwhile the king informed us that he has stationed a contingent of ships off our shore. He stated further that the ships are intercepting gamers and taking them aboard. The strategy appears to be working as the onslaught of arrivals has slowed to a trickle. The teenagers are reporting sea monsters; Deadpan says there must be something in the water.
We always knew that Deadpan didn’t arrive at Alien Resort by spaceship like the rest of us. Instead, his story reads like something out of science fiction: Deadpan once lived in an alternate universe. For some technological or political reason his situation became untenable and he escaped through a wormhole. Now for the first time we’re learning that he was a prince who presided over a large realm, and that his creation of the video game Alien Search is a manifestation of a natural desire to create and preside over a sphere of influence. When I told Deadpan that I once changed careers and began making airlocks, he said: “One door shuts and another one opens.”
Then we turned to Deadpan and asked him what he knows about the computer game Alien Search. Deadpan never gushes but he seemed immensely proud as he explained how he conceived the idea of a reality game and then developed the software for Alien Search. Plucky was furious: “How could you hide this from us?” Deadpan looked surprised then replied that he thought he was the only one interested in this type of thing. Deadpan also has an idea for a toy but he doesn’t know if it’ll be successful. He says it’s a cat and mouse game.
Justin is telling Plucky and me that he learned about the Alien Search computer game from a popup ad on his smartphone. According to the ad, the first level would be reached when the user purchases a ticket to Hawaii from a sponsoring airline. Justin states that his mother lets him use her credit card for after-school events and has never told him that he isn’t allowed to purchase plane tickets to Hawaii. Lmao invented a fireproof suit but he says he’s not about to ride off into the sunset.
As Plucky and I scan the beach wondering what to do next, our attention is focused on two areas of interest. First, all of the gamers who arrived after Justin are treating him like a rock star, snapping pictures with their phones and recording his every move to share on their social media accounts. Of greater concern to us however is the fact that Deadpan is always at his side, whispering to him and helping to keep the crowd at bay. We summoned both of them to my spaceship. I don’t understand the appeal of impressionism; Deadpan says it’s just different strokes.
I’m beginning to lose count of the number of rubber rafts washing onto our shore. An occasional ka-ching sounds forth as one more gamer touches onto the beach and announces his or her ascension to a new level. As I help with their rafts and direct each of them to a shaded area, Plucky and the others hurry to and from our spaceships, bringing sunscreen and juice boxes. Lmao had a race with a whale once; he says it blew him out of the water.
Plucky picked up an unusual radar signal which she at first mistook for whales. I brought a telescope to the beach and was eventually able to make out what appeared to be specks in the water. As they drew closer, I realized that the specks were actually rubber rafts, each carrying a young Earthling gamer. I ran and told Plucky; then I texted the king. When I told Deadpan that someday I would like to travel beyond the horizon, he said that’s out of sight.
Lmao has learned a new word. Justin followed Lmao to the other side of the island and Lmao showed him how to climb a coconut tree. When Justin’s phone awarded him a level, he pumped his fist and declared ‘ka-ching”. Now whenever a coconut hits the ground, Lmao pumps a fist and laughs: “ka-ching ka-ching”. When Lmao heard they were looking for actors for a jungle movie, he said: “Well, I’ll be a monkey’s uncle.”
Plucky and I met in her control room and did some research; we were unable to find any information for the computer game Alien Search. Yet somehow Justin has made his way to our island and appears to be quite comfortable among us. Of particular note is that he and Deadpan are hitting it off so well; looking at them you would think they were long time friends. Deadpan once used a time machine that didn’t have any shock absorbers; he says it was a throwback to another era.
Our landlord the king spoke to his contacts on the island of Saipan. Apparently the boy Justin hired a fishing boat in Saipan to carry him and his raft to near our shore. The king said he would arrange for one of his ships to pick Justin up but that it would be a few days. So it looks as if we’ll be tweensitting for a while. When I told Justin he would be staying on the couch in my spaceship, he looked at his phone, pumped his fist, and declared: “ka-ching ka-ching ka-ching”. I asked Lmao if he ever gave a pacifier to a baby, and Lmao replied: “yes, for crying out loud”.
Deadpan and I brought the boy Justin and his raft to the lagoon beach near my ship and set up some chairs. Then I sent an email to the king and awaited his response. From Justin’s account, his arrival at our island credits him with a level in a computer game called Alien Search that he plays on his phone using satellite internet. The yard outside my ship is yet another level: when we arrived at my yard, he looked at his phone and declared, “ka-ching ka-ching”. I asked Deadpan if there was any way to fix my gyroscope; he said he would level with me.
The boy who washed ashore in a rubber raft says his name is Justin. Plucky helped him from the raft, led him to a cabana, and ran to get me. When Plucky and I arrived he was looking at his phone, talking with Deadpan and drinking from a juice box that Plucky had given him. He says he’s a computer gamer. I asked Lmao if he believes in the sea monster; he says he wrestles with it.
I awoke this morning to the sound of a frantic pounding at my door; it was Plucky. “Come down to the beach at once,” she urged. “A rubber raft came ashore last night.” She paused, looking for words. “And there was a human aboard. A boy.” I put on my shoes and we headed for the beach. I asked Lmao how his fishing trip went; he said he threw back a few.
Our writer Mr. Davis sent us this text message this morning by surprise:
”I gave the guy in the cell next to me half of my soyburger to send this text. I don’t get any news from the outside but I’m sure it wouldn’t be good. I wish I had left you some scripts. I’m okay but do you want to know something strange? The Beacons of Night prison gang has always caused a lot of trouble here but suddenly they’ve become very quiet.”
I asked Lmao if he still eats vegetables; he said they’re on the chopping block.
My previous post told about an editor who was so impressed by the courage shown by Dans Cartoons that he decided to reinstate Alien Resort comics. Later that day, more editors wrote me and said that they too would run the comics and begin using the ones with Plucky’s scripts. Apparently readers from all over the world have been writing to the editors asking for the return of Alien Resort to their local newspaper. I told Deadpan that the horizon makes me queasy; he said it’s not the end of the world.