Narrative Transport. The official Michael Pryor website.

February25th

Let’s face it, a Martian Invasion is pretty much inevitable. It’s just a matter of time before our solar system neighbours finally press the big green ‘Go’ button and blast their way Earthwards. After all, they live on a really dreary piece of real estate. All that red dust! I’m sure that right now those dangerous little munchkins are voting on the best way to send their armed hordes across to our green and lovely planet. I can just imagine the polls they’re running: ‘Which ray would you use on the puny earthlings? Death Ray, Heat Ray or Blaster?’

That’s what they’re like.

 

As we don’t know when the Martian Invasion will come, it’s important for us all to get ready. There’s no point waiting until the flying saucers are hovering over our most loved monuments, government offices and other food sources to start wondering what to do. Preparation is the key, so I’ve put together a few handy tips.

 

  1. Read your Martian-English Dictionary really carefully. It’s too late to start leafing through pages when the battle drones start marching down your street. You need to be able to yell ‘Look behind you!’ in flawless Martian without even thinking about it. A few other phrases to memorise: ‘It’s not me you’re looking for’, ‘My mother is a Martian’ and ‘Would you mind standing on that train track for a while?’

 

  1. Invent an Anti-Martian Spray. Now, I know that this might be a bit tricky, but a Martian Invasion is no picnic either. Start with basic principles. Investigate how mosquito repellent works, then apply the same sort of thinking to an Anti-Martian spray. That should work.

 

  1. Keep an eye on the heavens using your telescope. Hint: this is work best done at night. I know, I know, this means going without sleep, but no pain, no gain.

 

  1. Exercise. Remember: when the Martians land near your home, you don’t have to be the fastest runner around, you only have to be faster than the slowest runner around. Lots of exercise is also good because you’ll get nice and skinny. I think we have to assume that the Martians are going to eat us, so it’s best to be as unappetising as possible, right?

 

  1. Weapons. Forget the usual guns and missiles. Martians just laugh at this sort of stuff, thanks to their incredibly advanced science. And they’re also very easily amused, apparently. A knock-knock joke really breaks them up, which tells you something. I mean, if you laugh at that sort of of thing, you’re probably full of all sorts of evil stuff, right?

 

Where was I?

 

Weapons. Just get hold of some of those things that use the Martians’ single weakness against them. Whatever that is.

 

  1. Build a giant flying saucer in your front yard. This is clever. When the Martian battle fleet hovers over your neighbourhood, the Martian commander will look down through her Vision-o-Scope (or whatever) and say, ‘Okay everyone, let’s move on. We’ve got this part of the puny earthling world under control.’

 

A word of advice. Don’t run outside and make rude gestures at the departing Martian battle fleet until it’s a long way away. Those Vision-o-Scopes are probably dynamite.

 

  1. I love this one. It’s a variation on Number 6, above. This time, you climb onto your neighbour’s roof (the neighbour with the really annoying dog that just won’t shut up) and paint a huge sign on the tiles: ‘Martians Go Home!’ So while the Martians are going all ballistic on your neighbour’s head, you can stand there and laugh. Except if they use some sort of high-powered neutron inhibitor bomb which would crack open the earth’s crust in an area  ten kilometres square. Laughing wouldn’t help much then.

 

On second thoughts, maybe you could try writing: ‘No Tasty Earthlings Here (Puny or Otherwise)’ but maybe a low profile is the best idea. Paint your roof to look like a desert or a swamp or something. Martians won’t get suspicious of a swamp in the middle of a residential neighbourhood. They’ll probably just go: ‘Those crazy (and puny) Earthlings! A swamp in the middle of a desirable neighbourhood! Go figure!’ Then they’ll cruise on and blow up a monument or something.

 

  1. Get your Martian disguise all dusted off and ready so you can infiltrate their headquarters and steal their plans or their super-science stuff or their money. Of course, since no-one has actually seen a Martian yet, this might be tricky, but that’s your challenge. Use your imagination. Green is probably a good start.

 

  1. Get ready to bribe them. Since our weapons will be useless (apart from making them laugh) maybe bribery will work. We’re working in the dark here, not knowing what will appeal to these evil invaders, so it’s probably best to stockpile lots of everything. When your neighbours complain about the mountains of old tyres or rotting cabbages or dog collars in your backyard, just tell them they’ll be sorry when the Martian Invasion comes. They’ll leave you alone after that, I’ll bet.

 

  1. Get used to being called ‘Puny Earthling.’ Don’t get mad about it. It’s just a Martian thing.

 

A Martian Invasion need not spoil your day, as long as you prepare for it properly. Thinking about your home and what you can do to make it an impregnable fortress is just common sense and will allow you to lead a long and happy life under alien occupation. And remember, you don’t need to salute the Martian Overlords if you defeat them singlehanded!

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