Light Years Away | Teen Ink

Light Years Away

June 14, 2019
By KimShrub BRONZE, Farmington, New Hampshire
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KimShrub BRONZE, Farmington, New Hampshire
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Author's note:

So it's a LGBT+ piece from a pretty radical kid.

“So much universe, and so little time.” -Terry Prachett

2:00 am

“Why are you so interested in the homo sapiens?” The Corporal asks. His dark purple skin clashes with her own light blue as he looks into the sphere.

“There is a simpler term you know, I simply enjoy human-watching” She replies, “They’re quite interesting creatures.”

The corporal shakes his head, “they rage war on one another for no reason, their rulers know nothing except hatred, and they’re killing their own planet. There’s nothing to find interesting of them, they’re practically like the Uslaw Plagnors, Bardan.”

Bardan rolls her eyes, “and we’re completely peaceful Corporal? Sniffgipp isn't all that great either. Every race has its ups and downs, these humans just have a few more knicks to them.”

The corporal merely rolls his eyes at his subordinate, “well luckily for you and your little, infatuation, we’ll be landing on Tellus Mater in ten quarks to do some information gathering on the homo sapiens. A waste of time if you ask me.”

Bardan glares at the corporal, “Remember, Baxzi, you have no right to push me around, you are just a corporal, you barely have any rights on this ship, and the commander and sergeant will certainly hear about this.”

His dark purple skin turns a lighter shade, as if going pale. He nods to Bardan and leaves the area. Bardan releases a sigh of relief and looks back into the sphere. It can show you wherever you wish. Currently in the sphere is a female, honey glow skin with freckles lightly scattered all over her face. Her eyes were bright green, bright enough to rival the sun itself in Bardan's opinion. The girl in the globe smiles and laughs, there's no sound that can make it through this sphere, but she can still imagine the cute twinkling of her laugh.

¨A few more light times before we land, “the ship's AI states in its robotic tone. Bardan nods to herself and walks out of the all-seeing room. Perhaps she'll find that human when they land? She can't quite pinpoint what makes her so enthralled with humans- that human especially.

¨We've now entered Tellus Mater´s atmosphere. Deploying false appearance, state: ̈clouds´,̈ the AI says. The ship feels heavier, but everyone inside remains unharmed, that's just how it is entering an atmosphere.

̈ ̈Deploy your guise now, I'm sure these homo sapiens wouldn't enjoy seeing a bunch of our kind 'invading' their planet,̈ The commander booms over the loudspeakers. Bardan applies her guise, from her light blue skin it turns a warm ivory, her black sclera turns into the white that humans obtain and her iris becomes a dark blue hue. Bardan puts on some more human-etiquette clothing such as a graphic tee and rolled up jeans. She heads to the mouth of the ship where the others of her race await for the ship to land and the gates to open.

“Taking a new what people fear most.” -Fyodor Dostoevsky

7:30 am

Something seemed off. Phoebe woke up, got out of bed, and got ready for the day. She rubbed her eyes and walked out the door with her tea in hand. On the way down the sidewalk, heading down to the building where she works, she finds a small cluster of clovers. Phoebe briefly looks through the cluster of clovers and finds a four-leafed clover. A gentle smile graced her face, and everything felt a little bit lighter, a little less frightening. She made a quick stop at the bakery for a breakfast sandwich and continued on her way.

8:00 am

When she finally made it to the tower, she quickly greeted the security guard and began to make her way to the elevator.

̈ ̈Hello Ms. Carter, how are you today?” Wilson, her boss, says as he walks out of the meeting room. Phoebe smiles professionally, she’s not a huge fan of her boss, but she wants to keep this job.

“Good morning Mr. Reed. I’m doing well, and you?” replies Phoebe. Wilson puts his hand on Phoebe’s shoulder. Her body involuntarily seizes up and a shiver goes down her spine. She’s never had a good feeling about her boss, but again, she needs this job.

“I’m doing great. You know, how about you come to my office? We can talk about a future raise or promotion, hm?”

“Ah, thank you!” she nervously replies and tries to maneuver herself so the hand falls off her shoulder, “but I must decline for right now, I have some work I just must get to-”

“Oh please,” Wilson begins, tightening his grip on Phoebe’s shoulder, “I’m your boss, I’ll be sure to exempt your work for today.”

Phoebe gulps, “Alright Mr.Reed”

10:00 am

Phoebe quickly walks to the elevators after her overly long chat with her boss. Nothing happened, but he was definitely trying to force some sort of connection to happen. At least she got a promotion out of it.

She releases a sigh she didn’t realize she was holding as she rests her forehead against the cool glass of the elevator. Phoebe closes her eyes for a moment, trying to collect herself for the next few hours of work when she feels the elevator come to a screeching halt. Her eyebrows furrowed up, ‘Great,’ she thinks, ‘Another thing to add to my list of bad things today. And I thought four-leafed clovers were supposed to be lucky.’ Phoebe releases another sigh, this one exasperated. The elevator falls a few feet and her eyes snap open.

‘Oh my god I’m going to die, this is how I die.’

She notices everything around her is turned off, the entire building dark despite it being midday outside. Those below here are looking out into the now dark sky. Phoebe looks out of the giant windows out to the sky where everyone is looking, there’s something in the sky covering the sun. Maybe it’s the moon? Perhaps an eclipse? But then why has everything shut down? The thing in the sky vanishes, the elevator begins ascending once more, and everyone is left confused, the city continues as if nothing happened.

“Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.”

-Albert Einstein

10:15 am

The Commander leads us out of the ship after we’ve landed in the middle of a pasture surrounded by cows.

“Everyone needs to remain stealthy and not allow any of the humans to discover we are not from this planet,” he looks around, “Where is my subordinate H’Bafflen?”

“I haven’t seen the Sergeant H’Bafflen since before we landed, Commander,” Baxzi states. The Commander pinches the bridge of his nose and exhales.

“Because of what is occurring, I will be promoting you to Sergeant, for the time being, mayhaps permanently if we discover our Sergeant has become timed out for good,” Baxzi nods, “Nuval, you’ve been promoted semi-permanently to corporal,” the Commander states, Nuval’s human face lights up.

“Thank you, sir!”

“There’s no need for thanks,” The Commander replies.

Bardan looks around the vast pasture that smells of manure, how can humans deal with this all day? Is this was the entire planet smells like? No wonder why all humans are so… strange.

“Spread out and get as much information on the life forms here as possible,” The Commander begins, “Only make necessary interactions with the homo sapiens, they cannot know our secret.”

All the subordinates nod and begin to move to different locations. Bardan makes her way to the city skyline in the distance.

11:00 am

The city is much different from the field full of cows. It smells similar, but there are fewer cows and more pigeons. Or what she believes to be pigeons from what she overheard from the humans walking by. Barden passes by a large building, with giant windows and a more pristine look compared to the dirty streets of this rat infested area. As she walks into the building, everyone is too busy fretting over something rather than paying attention to her. A human woman comes out of the staircase and begins talking quite quickly, almost that her translator can’t keep up, and loudly.

“You can’t expect me to want to stay at work today after what just happened! I could have died from that elevator malfunction! I was free falling for longer than I should ever have to experience!”

A man walks up to her and grabs both of her shoulders, “Look, Ms. Carter, you have no reason to go home, yes the elevator may have malfunctioned-”

“I dropped at least a few feet!”

“But no one else saw it, and you seem to just want to go home for no reason other than getting a paid day off work.”

The woman glares at the taller male and wretches herself out of the male’s grasp, “I have plenty of vacation days, I’ll use one of those now!” The woman makes eye contact with Bardan, it’s the same girl she looked at in the sphere! She’s certainly beautiful up front as well. Her hair is a lovely vibrant shade, and her nose and lips are just as adorable as the rest of her. Bardan shakes herself out of her thoughts as the delicate human speaks.“Look! There’s my-uh-friend! I sent her a text on the elevator and she’s here to take me home!” She smiles at what Bardan can only assume: the emotion is of pleading, and walks over.

“Two possibilities exist: either we are alone in the Universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying.” -Arthur C. Clarke

11:30 am

Damn, I didn’t expect that clover to be lucky, but here I am meeting a hot girl? Helping me out of a tight situation? How could today even go wrong after this!’

“Thank you so much for saving me from that situation, I’m sorry I got you tied up in this mess, I hope you don't mind walking with me, what’s your name anyway?”

The other woman freezes briefly, “it’s Bardan?”

Phoebe giggles lightly, “you like Dungeons and Dragons? C’mon, what’s your real name.”

The other woman’s face flushes a light pink, ‘maybe she’s embarrassed that I called her out, but Dungeons and Dragons isn’t a bad hobby to be interested in!’ She thinks.

“I mean- my name is-uh-” she glances around, and makes contact with a JC Penny “Penny! Yes! It’s Penny, what’s your name Humanoid?”

Phoebe giggles once more, Penny is so cute! “That’s such a nice name! My name is Phoebe! So we share the same first letter!”

Penny appears confused for a split second, an emotion that often appears on her, but then smiles softly, a very pretty smile if Phoebe may add. Anything this girl does is downright adorable.

“Would you like to uh, share phone numbers? Maybe we could keep in touch?” Phoebe asks hopefully. It would be dumb of her to pass up this opportunity. Penny, once more, gets a look of confusion on her face, but this time it doesn’t pass.

“What is a phone number?” Penny asks.

“Oh! Are you from outside the city? Here, I’ll get you a super cheap phone, on me! They’re like, 30$ now. Since flip phones are pretty out of style.”

“Oh, you really don’t need to, I’m sure it’ll be-”

“No really! I insist, come on, let’s go!”

Phoebe grabs Penny’s hand and leads her to the closest AT&T store. Even her hands are soft! This is so unfair! How is she so perfect?!

Phoebe grabs a pretty cheap phone and buys it for Penny and adds her own number to Penny’s contacts.

“Here! Now we can text one another!” Phoebe smiles brightly and Penny smiles back.

“Why should things be easy to understand?” -Thomas Pynchon

1:00 pm

‘I suppose my name is Penny now,” Barden- or Penny as this human calls her - thinks. She plays around with her phone and views the words on the screen.



Hey Penny! It’s me, Phoebe!

Well, you probably knew that.

I think I’m the only one with your phone number

uhh sorry for rambling


How did this human already weasel her way into her heart? It must just be of interest for studying this race. A light blush covers her face as she begins to fiddle with the phone and attempts to ‘text’ this human back.





Damn, typing and spelling in this language is hard. How do humans do it?



Oh! Hi!

I was worried you wouldn’t reply :(


What in the Seiliu is a “:(“? Penny begins pressing the tiny buttons on this human contraption to reply. Why don’t they just teleport to one another to speak? Or use holograms?




Do not worry

I will be sure to reply


xD lmaoo

You type so formally!

Do you not know any slang lol?


I am afraid not

But I must take my leave now


Alrighty! Make sure to text me later!

If you want, ahah

Good Luck! Have fun!



Bardan places the phone in her side pocket and continues to walk down the sidewalk, avoiding as many humans as possible. Her shoulders are not pleasant on her illusioned on skin. Everything is more sensitive to her kind when they are not in their natural state. She walks back to her Commander, they are supposed to meet up back at the field of cows when the sun was high, and she’s a bit off from that.

“I’m sure the universe is full of intelligent life. It’s just been too intelligent to come here.” -Arthur C. Clarke

12:00 pm

Baxzi impales the Commander with the Banished Copper Etcher. He rips the dagger out of his commander’s head, he falls to the ground, dead. The final blow to his human form. Blood begins to seep out of the wound. The dark blue blood drips from his commander’s head and from his mouth, his eyes are still wide open with the fear of being overtaken by his own subordinate.

‘Our kind has always been weaker under a disguise’ Baxzi thinks as he puts his Banished Copper Etcher back into his pocket, where he was hiding the dagger in the first place.

Baxzi begins to drag the commander’s now limp body into the tall grass, he’ll deliver the news to his comrades that their leader was killed by a human, and he’ll bravely take the title of Commander! Baxzi smiles triumphantly and applies his traumatised facade, then begins heading back to base camp.

1:15 pm

Baxzi runs into camp, by now everyone is there and waiting for their commander’s return. Only he knows he will not make his return.

“Everyone! The commander is dead! He was shot before my very eyes by these wretched homo sapiens! I bet the same thing happened to the Sergeant! We must show these blasted homo sapiens to not mess with us! Everyone, take off your disguises! We will wreak havoc on this miniscule planet to show them not to mess with us! Quick! Grab your blasters! No homo sapiens must be left free!”

The crowd goes into a frenzy, everyone grabbing their blasters and taking off their disguises to begin the fight against humans. Everyone except Bardan.

“One of the basic rules of the universe is that nothing is perfect. Perfection simply doesn't exist.....Without imperfection, neither you nor I would exist” -Steven Hawking

1:30 pm


Where are you?

Get somewhere safe and do not leave.


Uhh I’m at home?

I can send the address?



Yes, do so, I’m coming to protect you.


When Phoebe sends the address, Bardan grabs the blaster and runs to Phoebe’s home. Around her many of her own are shooting humans. Luckily, Phoebe doesn’t live too close to the center of the city. She knocks quickly on the door and barges in once it opens.

“Aliens are taking over,” she says. Phoebe stares at her, then laughs.

“Is this another one of your Dungeons and Dragons things? You worried me for a second there! I thought I was in actual trouble!”

“Look,” she starts, “what do I have to do to have you believe me? We’re running out of time and I wouldn’t want to see you get blasted.”

Phoebe beams, “you don’t want to see me get hurt?”

“Of course not! Xezotz, you humans are difficult to understand.”

Phoebe rolls her eyes, “okay you can get out of roleplay now,” Phoebe sits down on her couch and turns on the television. It’s on the news where it shows everything getting destroyed by the aliens. Her head slowly turns to Bardan, eyes wide.

Bardan removes her disguise and allows Phoebe to see her true form.

“You aren't human.”

Bardan nods, “that’s what I’ve been getting at, yes.”

“But you- oh my god it all makes sense.”

Phoebe puts her head in her hands, “oh my god, you’re an alien. I thought an alien was hot. This is so unfair. I’ll be dying alone. I can’t believe this. What is this? Some Star Wars fanfiction? A really bad one?”

“I’m the normal temperature for my kind- No matter. You can continue your breakdown later. Right now we need to make it seem as if no one is here. They’re eliminating everyone.”

Bardan begins closing the curtains, turning off the lights, and stacking furniture in front of the door.

“How do I know you won't kill me?” Phoebe asks. Bardan glances at her.

“I suppose you don’t know, but, you can trust me. I’d never hurt you intentionally.”

“And why is that? Can aliens even feel emotions?”

“Yes, we can, we’re similar to your kind.”

“Okay, I’ll trust you.”

Bardan smiles, “thank you.”

2:45 pm

The door begins shaking, loud noises outside. Bardan grabs Phoebe and holds her close behind the chair. Phoebe begins to shake out of fear and Bardan gently runs one of her light blue hands on her back.

“You’ll be okay, I won’t let anyone hurt you, remember? You’ll be alright, I’m going to protect you.”

Phoebe nods against her shoulder and clings to Bardan’s alien clothes. The door bursts open and debris lands everywhere. Bardan remains still and just holds the human closer to her. Baxzi calls out.

“Oh Bardan! I never expected you’d be the one to suspect anything! You and your miniscule brain!” He laughs maniacally, “You couldn’t comprehend the things I feel! The things I must do! You just don’t understand do you?! Sniffgipp is in ruins because of our old generals! I just had to fix it!” He continues pacing around the room, trying to spot the alien, “you and all the other aliens just never realized! Everyone is so obsessed with getting information that we completely disregard our own race! Do you know what they’re going through?” He laughs once more, “do you?! You wretched piece of Ozzhen dung!” He rounds the chair and shoots directly at Bardan. She pushes something out of the way before getting hit in the thigh, where a small hole sears through.

Bardan stands on wobbly legs, “I have no idea what you’re talking about! Our planet may have wars, but it’s nothing like other planets! You said it yourself how much better we are than this species, so why lie and have our kind eradicate them?! They’ve done nothing! Why kill two of our kind for this?!” Her blood starts to drip down onto the floor, luckily the blaster didn’t hit any major arteries.

“You know,” Baxzi begins, raising his gun to fire again, “you’ve always liked these humans too much. Are you perhaps infatuated with the one you’ve always been spying on in the crystal? Is that what this is? A dumb emotion?” He smirks and aims the blaster at her head. She goes to pull her own blaster out and realizes it isn’t there. Her eyes widened.

“Looking for this?” Phoebe asks, and fires between Baxzi’s eyes before he even gets the chance to acknowledge her. He falls back onto the floor, and Phoebe drops the blaster and runs back into Bardan’s arms.

“Can it stop now? Make the rest stop, please,” she looks up at Bardan through her lashes, her soft and bright green eyes staring into Bardan’s own abyss of black. “Of course, I’ll try my hardest to stop them, after all, I did promise your safety.”

Phoebe nods, “your leg is first priority. I’m not sure how you guys work but that looks painful,” she goes and grabs a med kid, cleaning the wound and bandaging it.

“The shot just goes right through, there’s an entire hole in your leg… How is that possible?” Phoebe asks, worry in her tone.

“Don’t worry, we heal quicker than you, a shot through the leg won’t kill us, we can’t die from loss of our blood either.”

Phoebe sighs in relief, “thank god, I was worried.”

Bardan hums and grasps Phoebe’s hand, gently holding it. “Let’s go stop my kind, shall we? I’m sure they’ll be quick to understand. Just stay behind me, and everything will continue to be fine.”

Phoebe smiles, and they don’t release hands.

“Do you think the universe fights for souls to be together? Some things are too strange and strong to be coincidences.” -Emery Allen

3:00 pm

To say Nuval was surprised when he was promoted three times in one day was an understatement. Finding out if someone you’ve looked up to most of your life was psychotic and wanted to eliminate your entire race to become the most powerful ruler is a bit overwhelming. Turns out Baxzi had an entire diary full of plans to overtake the democracy we have on the home planet. Nuval, as a sudden new commander who barely knows how to drive the ship, is a bit overwhelmed. Even more so when Bardan comes with a human girl holding hands and being all lovey dovey.

All of the species quickly got back on the ship, out of embarrassment for trying to annihilate a different species, they also apologised to the human girl with Bardan.

“So uhm Bardan, what do you plan to do with this woman?”

Bardan glances at the human next to her, and the human shrugs and says something. Bardan seems surprised and looks back at Nuval.

“Can we take her with us? She says she has nothing waiting for her here.”

Nuval thinks about it, it would be strange, but the ship is big enough, and if Bardan takes care of the human all should be well.

“Alright, but only if you take care of it.”

Bardan nods and whispers to the human, she must not be able to understand their language.

The human smiles and thanks Nuval, and heads on the ship with Bardan. Hopefully Bardan will take better care of this pet than the space whale she had.

“We are an impossibility in an impossible universe.” -Ray Bradbury

4:00 pm

Phoebe looks outside the window into the deep expanse of space. She can see herself and Bardan in the window in front of her. She smiles lightly to herself as Bardan wraps her arms around her waist. As she looks up at Bardan and gently pecks her lips, Bardan looks surprised as Phoebe laughs.

“I guess that four-leaf clover was lucky, huh?”

Bardan hums, acting as if she knows what Phoebe’s talking about, and she rests her head on the human’s shoulder. Perhaps this will work out

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