Dear readers, tonight with us is a spunky reporter, on the front line of an alien invasion. She’s here to tell us about her friends (and what she’d do to save them), and about alien abductions (which involve more video games than you might think).
Tell us a little about where you grew up. What was it like there?
It was a pretty regular neighborhood, until I grew up and it became the site of regular abductions.
Y’know, cute suburban houses, UFOs in the form of unidentified airborne birds, because those technically count, and kids banding together to try to rescue said birds after they mashed their faces into windows, with mixed results.
It was the identified flying object that ended up making things interesting, seeing as it was a spaceship.
Did you have any favourite toys or activities that made life interesting before the spaceship showed up?
Like a lot of modern kids, I was pretty attached to my smartphone. I took pictures of everything that caught my eye, and made up news stories about them, though they almost never got published.
Most of the pictures were pretty mundane, though I did get a pretty good one when a moose wandered into our yard and my friend, Alexa, tried to check its hooves for thorns.
You know the story about the lion with a thorn in its paw? It doesn’t work as well when the lion is a moose. I had to distract it while she ran inside.
That one actually did get into the local paper, and it’s one of my proudest childhood memories. My dad got interviewed along with me, and I swear he mangled his grammar just to annoy me. He did that all the time when I was a kid; I started correcting his spelling and grammar when I was eight.
Are you still taking pictures and reporting on things now?
Most of the time I’m in front of the camera, not behind it. I mostly report on what I’m told to, but I do my best to find my own stories whenever possible.
Lately I’ve been making stories by posing as the girlfriend of an alien superhero so his equally alien rival can kidnap me instead of the real girlfriend. I don’t think Alexa would take it as well as I do.
You know, at first I thought those aliens might be goofy college kids in costumes with prosthetics, but when the kidnapper crossed a huge room in less than three seconds to prevent my experimental escape attempt, that theory got a lot weaker.
What can you tell us about your latest adventure?
I’ve mostly been teasing an alien abductor, trying to keep everyone convinced that I’m the hero’s girlfriend without actually having to kiss him, and trying to beat said aductor’s high score on the video game he made for us.
More importantly, I’m also digging for answers to some pretty weird questions, such as why Zorei and Kadian are wearing matching ornaments, and why Zorei keeps picking fights with Kadian even though he never wins. He’s pretty smart and tech-savvy, so you’d think he could find something more fun and lucrative to do with all that skill.
What did you think when you realized Zorei was going to keep on kidnapping you and only you?
This might sound weird, but I was actually pretty happy. Front-row seats to an alien battle for the win! Besides, Zorei never hurt his past abductees, so I was rarely even nervous.
Also, on a pettier note, you should see how easily he gets flustered. He tries hard to hide it, but I’m good at seeing when he’s trying to hide it and even better at making it happen.
Did Zorei ever manage to scare you?
When he realized people were getting suspicious because he never hurt his prisoners or defeated Kadian, he decided to do something more extreme.
I was terrified. I actually could have died that time. And it’s probably weird and stupid, but I actually felt kind of… betrayed.
I take it that was the worst part of your adventure?
Not quite; I’ve seen worse since then. But to be honest, one of the worst parts of this whole relationship is what a tangled emotional mess it is.
Now, I know this is going to sound stupid. Stockholm syndrome and all that. But… I figured from the start that Zorei was harmless. I mean, he was gentle with his abductees, and he was mostly weirdly polite to me.
I always got the feeling there was something else behind his abductions, like maybe they weren’t even his idea.
So, while we were spending all that time together, and he started bantering back at me when I teased him, and he made that video game for us to play together while we waited for Kadian to rescue me, I… damn, this sounds stupid, given the situation, but I actually started really caring about him.
When he finally decided to cross a line, it tore my guts out way more than it should have, and I felt like such an idiot for getting attached.
It sounds like there was a surprising number of good things about this situation. What was the best thing about it?
It’s hard to pick just one, haha. Man, a lot of the stuff I’m saying in this interview sounds weird.
Still, I was part of some great news stories, I had an intriguing mystery to solve, my alien-dating BFF was safe, and I’m getting close to beating Zorei’s high score.
It sounds like this friend is pretty important to you.
Yeah, she is. To be honest, I didn’t have very many friends when I was growing up; I was too busy taking pictures and looking for weird or cool stories. But Alexa was always there for me.
She was kind of shy and got scared easily, and acting like her bodyguard made me feel strong. But she’s also really sweet, and she can be surprisingly brave when she needs to be.
What about people who are more than friends? Do you have anyone like that?
Haha. The internet being what it is, I know for a FACT that somebody out there is shipping me with Zorei. And Zorei with Kadian. And all three of us together. And of course, I’m pretending to be Kadian’s girlfriend.
But in reality, I’m footloose and fancy-free, and I actually prefer it that way. A boyfriend might need too much social interaction for this introvert, y’know?
Aside from overly extreme kidnapping shenanigans and excessive social interaction, is there anything you really hate?
Yeah, I have my share of pet peeves. Bad grammar, being sent to report on boring stories, and having to stare at the camera when I’d rather be investigating whatever the camera’s pointing at.
And, God forbid, people threatening Alexa. Seriously. Do. Freaking. NOT.
What’s your favourite drink, colour, and relaxing pastime?
My favorite drink is hot chocolate, despite the comical complaining of a certain blue alien. My favorite color is red, and some of my favorite pastimes are reading, video games, and researching conspiracy theories on the internet.
What does the future hold for you?
Hopefully more reporting on cool stories, rehabilitating a traumatized alien, and not dying in all the explody bullcrap that’s happening around me.
Can you share a secret with us, which you’ve never told anyone else?
Let’s see, what in my history of oversharing have I not told anyone? Well… I do have a soon to be not-so-secret fear of being on camera naked. The first week I started working as a reporter, I had nightmares about it every single night.
The sixth time my dream self’s clothes mysteriously went AWOL, I just said “Screw it. I’m doing this story nude. At least that way, my clothes will still exist in the closet instead of disappearing forever.”
The next day, when I woke up, I almost walked out of the house naked. Then I remembered that clothing doesn’t magically vanish in real life, so there was still a point in getting dressed.
Stephanie O’Brien is a lifelong novelist and webcomic artist who enjoys playing with different genres, putting twists on classic tales and tropes, and telling platonic love stories.
You can find Alexandra on the pages of Heroic Lies.
Join us next week to meet woman from an alternate world, who discovers magic is real. Please follow the site by email (bottom-right) to be notified when the next interview is posted.