Cera was sliding into her coat when her front door burst open, startling Cera.
“Who were those people? Why were they here? What did they want and why on Earth was he cooking in your kitchen?” Lane blasted past Cera as she made her rounds through Cera’s home, investigating each room for visible threats. “I mean, the kitchen smells amazing but that doesn’t excuse them from home intrusion. We have laws. This is a society for goodness sakes.”
“We really need to get to work, I’ll explain on the way Lane.”
“What? Oh no, nope. Absolutely not. What we’re doing is you’re going to call off from work, same as me. We’re going to pack your essentials and then we’re going to my place where we have a proper security system and men who are paid to protect us. I see you opening your mouth over there and all that mouth better be saying is ‘Yes ma’am’ you understand? Come into my friend’s house and make buttery-flavored threats. My mom-mode is officially triggered.”
“Lane, I don’t want to…”
“Don’t want to...what? Be protected? Live a long and fruitful life where you birth many daughters who are all named after their legendary Godmother Lane? Listen to you, you sound crazy. I’m going to your room to pack your underwear and toothbrush. Here’s your phone, I’ve already dialed work. It’s ringing.” Lane forcibly placed the phone in Cera’s hand and swooshed off to the bedroom to make good on her word.
Cera crept to her bedroom doorway where she watched her normally level-headed bestie losing her mind as she aggressively stuffed a duffel bag full of wrinkled clothing and bathroom essentials. “Uh, I used one of my mental health days to call off, so, um, do you want some help assaulting my duffel bag with my laundry?”
Lane’s tense shoulders loosened as she turned towards her friend, revealing her flushed face and tear-streaked cheeks.
“Whoa, are you okay? W-why are you crying?” Cera stepped towards Lane to offer a reassuring hug but was met with Lane’s raised palm stopping her in her tracks.
“These are not tears, these are liquid drops of rage that have overflowed from my chalice of righteous fury. I am angry that you’re being threatened. Angry that you’re not safe in your own home. Angry that this is all that I’m able to do right now. I’m not entirely sure who those two are, but I really don’t care. If I see them again I’ll—” Cera quickly hushed Lane and mouthed, “They’re listening.” to warn her that she ought not to say anything more. The two continued packing in silence until they left Cera’s home.
Feeling the need to calm her nerves during her commute to Lane’s apartment, Cera turned on her favorite podcast. “The traffic on The Milky Spiral has been astronomical since the now legendary ‘triCERA’ submitted a series of their captures from the Leonids event. These photos are of professional quality, but that’s not what is stirring up the community.” The hostess continued, “What has made these images a hot topic is that several photos appear to show, well, a UFO. The quality is so crisp that it’s even got cynics starting to believe that we’re not alone. In fact, one of the more vocal nay-sayers, Professor Norberg, has finally agreed to debate long-time UFO supporter and believer Ted Quasar of the Orion Belt Podcast in two weeks. Should be interesting to hear both perspectives. If ‘triCERA’ is listening, we’d love to talk with you about your capture method and the tech you’re using. These are seriously some impressive photos. Call us!”
Ah-ha, no. Cera shook her head at the very idea of getting further involved. She wanted to fall off the radar completely now that Mr. Law had his sights set on her. She turned off the engine of her car, hoisted her belongings over her shoulder, and made her way towards Lane’s apartment building.
Cera just wanted to share her latest astrophotography with a small group of fellow night sky enthusiasts, but when her images go viral for exposing alien life she becomes the interest of both her government and the Judger of Worlds. Cera has spent her life hiding under the darkness of night skies and she absolutely does not like having the limelight shining on her. The light exposes too much and with it, she learns that the Galatic "Good Guys" maintain interstellar peace through the destruction of all advanced and aggressive civilizations. Earth will soon be advanced enough to join the rest of the universe, but are they peaceful enough to dodge the "Delete All" button of the Judger of Worlds? Probably not, but Cera might be able to convince the Judge to bend the rules. Well, maybe.