Report by Neftarious,
Boopn and I will visit Earth, a mostly blue and green and grey and boring planet. Tasked, as we are, to find staging points for an invasion, we are forced to roam into various shops. We have chosen Minnesota, for some reason, as the slightly cold destination for Oddn’s glorious takeover of this new planet. Why are we here? why do we care about Earth? We don’t! Well, we do care about one thing… One glorious thing humans have which we Oddn cherish beyond anything else we have found in our galactic, far-reaching quests into the mysteries of limitless space: coffee.
We desire secrecy, and are looking for the the most un-loved coffee shop in Minnesota. If no Earthling loves it, it will be unnoticed when we invade.
I shuddered with what you—no, we, the Great Oddn—call Conquerer’s Foretaste as Boopn and I gazed at Bull Run’s minusculity. Not many humans, I thought, would notice if we wore their coffee slaves’ skin, hair, and extra eye as disguises and took over this tiny, pathetic shop.
A human customer exited Bull Run just as my data beam exploded into light ten times brighter than this planet’s brightest day. Do not worry. We explained ourselves to the human who was exiting: “Camera-Time!” Boopn said, raising his arms to accentuate the presumed happiness of the situation. The human stumbled, holding his eyes in Minnesota-land’s symbol of “hello.”
We entered the shop—leaving the human to squirm on the ground in his joy—and, oohhh, how wonderfully small the inside was too. Humans were packed like Dubee Seeds in a tight, tight pod with two or three strangers sitting together at a single table, and more simply standing around. But why would they mingle together? Were they family? Perhaps… Or, perhaps this is yet another display of what Boopn refers to as humans’ “affection for strangers” (blegh!)
A smell permeated the air like noxious gas. A… a delicious smell, I am ashamed to admit, of coffee. An unforgivable mission blunder from my mostly useless partner, Boopn, occurred, then, when the smell reached us.
I may later write a short entry on the horrid power this human coffee drink has over us, the Mighty Oddn. It is distracting to see the robot fish (the ones which clean inside our transparent bodies) fight battles over the swallowed coffee-liquid. Quite distracting. We Oddn are no better, of course. Hence, my partner’s reaction.
I lunged after Boopn with my human claw hand as he danced and pranced his way to the front counter after saying he smelled “coffee rainbows.” I hissed; my voice became higher than intended. “‘Coffee rainbows’ not only do not exist, but could not be smelled if they did!” To no avail. The exquisite smell drew Boopn to its alluring embrace like an Oddn droplet to his family puddle.
“Hey Dude,” the human addressed me after I made my normally-paced way to the counter. “Dude” is not my human code name, of course. Today I am “Darth Vader,” a name with many results on Earth’s electronic communication system. So it is, rest assured, a good one. I bit back a scathing retort at this Earthling’s too-friendly attitude. Boopn ordered “the coffee that smells of colorful dreams,” and the coffee slave responded with a surprisingly hearty laugh to him, then turned and showed me his sharp teeth. Many of them. Too many. Having no bones myself, this terrifying experience led me to order a latte and turn to address the rest of the shop as quickly as possible.
While ordering, I was nervous, and not just from the Earthling’s animal-like incisors. If the delicious-smelling coffee turned out to be too good, it would drive more humans here. A fact which would render Bull Run “not good for invasion”… I must find more problems with Bull Run, I thought. The overly-casual barista was dampening my hopes as well (because the humans were not cursing his name in affronted anguish, as I had expected). Boopn, though, presented me with some happy data.
“There’s nowhere to sit, Mr. Darth,” He pipped to me, and I turned.
He was right. All the tables were occupied. There was nowhere to sit. Oh, happy, happy news! This would surely drive business away, and make Bull Run a suitable invasion site in Uptown-land. Would Earthlings bother to frequent a shop where they are not able to rest their spindly leg bones? No. Of course not.
Then, however, something happened I shudder to report. Yes, there were, indeed, no places to sit in this art-encrusted, wild-music-blasting garage, but the humans here were…different. Different, even from the normal patronage we’ve researched before in Uptown-land. Here, a group of Earthings, who were obviously not family, were sitting together laughing, talking, and showing affection for each other (for non-family members! I hope this behavior will not become a common human trait), and there was a general feeling of—here is the unique part—affection for strangers to a point I have never seen. Bull Run’s Earthlings all seemed like…family. Scandalously comfortable with one another, they conversed and fritted away their time like Spring flowers unaware Fall is coming soon…soon.
But I digress. All around Boopn and I this feeling of familiarity, of affection—like we were all swimming in our own family puddles back on Oddn—reminded me of videos I watched on chemical warfare. It infected the air around us like poisonous gas. I fought the urge to run. To leave this shop as fast as my two skinny limbs would scuttle. But an Earthling female asked Boopn if we would like to share her table … … Oddn do not show affection for strangers! I nearly lost the physical consistency I was carefully maintaining.
Though, to avoid a scene, we accepted and sat while she stood to use the humans’ mysterious room of waste management. And there we were—entrenched. Breathing in the noxious (and hopefully not contagious) air of friendliness with an interloper whose hair Boopn tried to touch. I grabbed his arm as she passed.
After a brief moment of panic, I, to avoid a strange feeling coming over me, gathered my fleeing wits. Determined to clear my thoughts, I laid out Bull Run’s negative aspects in organized, usable simplicity. I intoned its tiny size to Boopn; its packed tables, its cold floor, and its music which was not part of any popular database I recognized. It was too far from the city, I urged, and does not have the normally large amount of sugary bread’s and meat-between-bread’s humans so love. Few humans would notice, I finished, if this place was invaded. I must have looked somewhat mad, though, for the tiny Oddn’s human lips quivered like a droplet fresh from the egg sac. While saying all this—in a restrained quiet because the tables were so close private conversation was impossible—I felt the power of my argument begin to wash over us, and I prepared for agreement.
Boopn listened and then spoke. “They seem nice here, and everyone is friendly, like a big puddle family. Won’t…won’t that mean we shouldn’t invade Bull Run, cause it’s like a big family where everyone enjoys coming back again and again?”
I did not know what to say to this. I was speechless and considered his words, looking around. A few more customers came in and were greeted by name, with much showing of teeth. True, Bull Run was small and cramped; its music and adornments seemed to be chosen by those not in charge of decorating the rest of the planet. But I saw that humans would come to this “home” again and again because all who entered were treated, ridiculously, as family—with kindness and familiarity. Even us.
Then I sampled Boopn’s coffee, which was delicious, and the robot fish inside me staged a rather ruckus battle in competition for it. I sighed. If, for nothing else, many humans would come to Bull Run for the coffee alone.
To conclude my mission log for Bull Run Coffee Shop, I advise we do not invade.