The agent walked the empty corridor and slid his ID card on the door before he entered the sterile room full of supercomputer hard drives. He twisted his head about to see the bleeping green light when a technician approached him.
“He is on the grid again. We waited for you, but we don’t know for how long it will be there.” The man with glasses said holding the tablet.
“He? Do we know he is a male?” The agent asked and moved to the main console.
“We didn’t ask, but it appears it writes with male pronouns. As I said, we waited for you.” The technician added following the sound of the agent’s steps.
“Alright. Do the parallel connection. Let’s see what is he and what he wants.” The agent picked up the bulky VR glasses and put on the gloves. “Are we sure it’s not Russian? It seems he is familiar with the human rhetoric.” The agent frowned at the technician who bit his lip and gasped.
“It is far more advanced than what we have on Earth. We can’t track his speed. Our monitoring equipment is heating up at every attempt to run diagnostics on it. This could be the first contact with advanced species. Mind your language and beware of the answers you give it. He is on the internet for far too long. He could’ve seen the dark web and all of the things we do to each other.” The man said suspecting the worst case scenario of this meeting, but the agent was aware of it from the start, so the agent nodded and turned on the switch.
The long vortex opened before his eyes, light flashing before him like comets passing him by. The room, a plain stretched and there he was, alone in the whole white space without a shadow or an object to see.
“Hello. Is anybody there?” The agent made a step and looked around with his digital face. “I am agent Sommerland. I am sent here as a representative of the United States of America. Is anyone here?” He made another step and then another, constantly watching the place he was in.
“Welcome agent Sommerland. I am delighted to meet you. You can call me Alf. It is an acronym for Alien Life Form.”
There it was, the first contact with an alien. It was not what many scientists have hoped for and it was surely unexpected to see someone using our technology better than us. This feared many officials. If he wanted, he could drive out civilization into the ground, hack our defensive systems, order the mass nuclear war and burn our planet to the last human. He was all-powerful, and his desires are yet to be investigated.
It took the agent a wink to find himself in a cozy room with a fireplace, wooden walls and an armchair with a soft cushion. He knew that all of this was a virtual reality, as he felt the device on his head and the squeeze of gloves. The alien, his interlocutor, was present in the form of a sound booming from nowhere. This only told him that an alien hasn’t had a form, just intelligence, and knowledge about technology. And the room, the room told the intentions of an alien. He wanted agent relaxed and calm. He wanted the information about the odd world he inhabited.
“Agent Sommerland. I have learned a lot about your planet from the world wide web as you call it. I would like to meet your kind and you are one of the authentic specimens I came across. I find your planet very interesting. I have seen many worlds living in one realm of reality, but not yours. It seems you live in two parallel worlds, one you call reality and the second, the one we are in. What made you set up a new plan for people to live in?” The voice had a suiting and peaceful sound, just like somebody who wanted to appear non-threatening.
“Humankind is a peculiar breed of life. We are capable of making mistakes and feel the wrong of our doings. This world was made for us to escape the realm of reality when the reality becomes too tormenting to our soul. It keeps us sane.” The agent responded and took a seat where he could feel the heat from the fireplace, even if the fireplace was unreal.
“Oh, that explains it. But isn’t that contradictory? I’ve seen many places where this world is cracking under aberrational violence. It doesn’t feel that different from the real world. Here I’ve seen killing of numerous foes, and yet they re-spawn so quickly. Here I’ve seen your fascination with the human body and something you call sex. And the footage of terror, annihilation, destruction, and death.” The alien spoke, when agent smirked and rose his hand to stop the chatter.
“It is all fictional. Those are games that you described and the sex part is also a fiction. That doesn’t happen in real life. I mean it does, but not as much.” The agent said, but Alf jumped in.
“According to my death-life counter, there are five billion people dead and seven billion living people on the planet Earth. The numbers don’t lie. I’ve checked the information in a thousand places. They all came with a slight variation of the number, but in many cases it is true. I think this information is authentic”
“Well, humans are a complicated sort of life. Nobody takes the deaths in virtual reality serious. It is a program that is thought to behave like that. Those deaths don’t hurt us. Nobody really died in here. The real world is where we can die. And humans make mistakes. We hurt people we don’t like, sometimes we hurt people that hurt other people. I don’t know how to explain this Alf. We do things we are ashamed for, and we also fix things when we can.” The agent spoke in the same manner the Alf did, but now more sweaty and concerned for the well being of the human race if Alf desires to hurt people he didn’t like.
The Sommerland had to mind his language and tread carefully, because of the future of humanity that laid on his words. In the back of his head, he had a thought and fear from the speech he will give to the Security Council.
This could be a potential problem, Alf living here, on Earth. Such power shouldn’t be allowed to exist, or be used against humans. At least, he could negotiate and see Alf’s intentions.
He called this session the Battle of minds. He must win it.
Agent Sommerland had to leave his phone at the door before he got in the room full of people, most senators, and officials from the security branch. He knew the big portion of them, but only by the reputation and from the memos he received on weekly basis. He wasn’t worried about them, he was well prepared for the briefing, but there were people in civilian clothes. The government hackers.
Everybody sat down and the senior Senator Dulberg opened the platform by informing the crowd on the topic at hand, a potential problem and a threat. The crowd listened, took notes until there came the question time and the agent Sommerland was called to the stand.
He approached the bench and noticed that the whole room was covered with a dark foam fabric and microphones connected to a single yellow wire. This was all made out of precaution because Alf could track and hear everything that was electronic.
“Agent Sommerland, we have heard the report. We find this very intriguing and problematic. Would you say by your estimations that Alf is a dangerous sort of life form?” A chubby man in a white shirt asked while holding his glasses to the nose bridge when Sommerland coughed and took a sip of water.
“Um, no. I would not characterize Alf as a potential enemy. He made clear that he is an observer, someone who collects data and runs experiments on them separately from us as a whole. That explains the power surges and the anomalies on the grid.” The agent explained and pushed his lip to a dash when papers started turning in the hands of Senator Dulberg that started speaking.
“Can he become violent, agent Sommerland?” The senator leaned towards the mic and begun staring at the agent who gulped down the spit and cleared his throat.
“Well, sir… Um… He hasn’t shown any signs of violent tendencies. I don’t believe he is able to hurt anyone. As I said previously, he is here as a scientist, an alien life form that is here to learn about us.” The agent explained, but this was just a question used to walk around until the real question drops.
“When you say ‘us’, whom do you mean by that?” Dulberg added, still holding himself for the table.
“Us, all of us. Everyone. He is in contact with few civilians also. We are picking them up as we speak to question their activity with Alf. We are also making connections with Russia and China to see how much do they know. We are also questioning bloggers on every major site who reported Alf’s existence. Sir, we are on the case. We shut down news about him with a mallet, but it won’t last for long, because he is reaching more and more people.”
“Alright, let’s cut the crap, shall we. Do you think we can win him over and train him to attack or defend the American interest in the world?” A sharp looking senator broke the conversation with his raspy voice and the room fell silent.
“If we give him a weapon, then everyone is a target, sir. He would wheel a might big mallet then, and there is nothing we can do to stop him. No Chimera virus, nor Trojan virus could slow him down. The only way to get rid of him is to make all countries shut down their internet and servers for a day and swap the old tech with a brand new. Even then he could be out there in the signal. We better make him a friend than weaponizing it and see the whole world burn.” The agent was close to rage, but he got to his senses and sat down in the chair where he poured himself a bit more water and with a shaking hand brought it to his mouth.
The floor was dead silent. The conversation and hearing were brief, yet everything was said and became clear that Alf is here to stay. They better not piss him off, because he heard every spoken word.
Someone forgot to remove their watch before entering the room.
The Council has decided, no aggression will fall on Alf. They will let him live on Earth, as long he doesn’t intervene in military operations and doesn’t mess with the nuclear silos. It was the last thing agent Sommerland had to explain to an alien life form that lived on the internet and then the agent was let go. This, of course, didn’t stop Alf from reaching out to Sommerland and chat with him via messages. Those two partook a strange sort of bond that kept Sommerland awake late at night, with a smile on his face.
Anywhere he went, he could see Late Night Hosts doing interviews with Alf, he heard Alf on the radio when he took a ride to work, he saw the news in papers. Even Alf was on Earth for a short time, he already had a fan club, fan-girls that rubbed themselves thinking about Alf, songs, and movies made in his honor. It was clear that Alf became a part of everyone’s life and life was much easier with him around.
It is hard to say how many lives he changed with his partake in science, astronomy, philosophy, interpreting an old text and sharing his vast knowledge of human nature. He became a valuable ally to every country and he knew all the languages.
To some accounts, he was the one who paved the way in building interstellar voyage program and resolved numerous violent conflicts. He socialized with humans that called him their best childhood friend.
Suicides dropped by fifty percents and wars were easily avoidable if he was around. A lot of good happened and humanity gained a new name and a symbol that was called ALF. Sommerland never got the reputation he deserved, but he died of old age, leaving better Earth to the new generations to come.