Free Short Fiction Monday

The Mannequin

 Whenever we landed on a new planet, the ex-tee team were the ones who made first contact. First contact could make or break relations with the United States of Earth (good ole US of E). After the economic fall of the world economies, a group of corporations had banded together to start a capitalist society to better their communities.

They provided education and jobs for those people who wanted to progress and live comfortable lives. After a hundred years these corporations had combined and headed for the stars to find raw materials to mine for the industrialization of space colonization. Earth had thought that it was alone. In its own galaxy it was alone. When USE left the galaxy, they began to find little worlds with people of varying types, which was why they now needed a first contact team.

It saved them a lot of grief after that first world.

Religion, politics, and the dead are the touchy topics in any world. When the first USE team landed on Ako, the native word meaning earth, they didn’t know that they would be thrown off a planet.

It started this way. When they finally found a way to communicate with the mayor of the city, he introduced them to a mannequin seated on the couch in his office. How could they know that it was much more significant than a plastic clothes horse?

The first officer who was in charge of the team had looked dumbfounded at the mannequin. It appeared to be made of wood and not the normal plastic he had seen in stores across the USE. “Ummm, hi” he said.

He had turned to the mayor. “Should we be discussing this stuff to an inanimate object?”

When the mayor asked for an explanation of inanimate, his face turned red and he called his officers. The men in the party were escorted to their ship. A jet escorted them off the planet with a torpedo.

“What did you do?” was the classic response of the Captain. The first officer had no idea.

After that every time the USE tried to land, the Akoiets tried to shoot them down. It was decades later when they learned that the first officer had not only insulted a mannequin, but also a religious object of extreme significance. It was the mayor’s dead mother.

So now, all first contacts were made by the ex-tee team.

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