Galaxy Girl

This is a tale of how something might happen in the future. Now, with this story, we're looking from a perspective of today but I can't tell you what actually happened. We're looking into possibilities, likely and unlikely, and wish to describe something that could happen, that might happen on earth someday. Read now, and use your imagination to make this story come to life.

On a dark night on a dirt road near the town of Deleon, Chihuahua, Mexico, you could observe 4 vehicles driving at a high rate of speed. The sport/4 wheel drive cars were driven by Mexican drug traffickers, who had just made a deal for a large amount of cocaine and were taking their money, all $1.2 million U.S. dollars of it, back to their ranch nearby. The first vehicle carried two armed men: the driver and a gunman carrying an AK-47 rifle. In the second car, Juan Pablo Ortiz, the kingpin of the local narcotraficos, sat next to the driver. In the back seat was a gunman guarding the money, which was in two suitcases in the luggage area. The two following vehicles all carried three men, all armed, all protecting the cargo. They communicated via handheld 2-way radios purchased at a ham radio store. This was better than cell phones as the conversations via radio were low power and would not be heard on any government radios unless the police were really close and on the same frequency.

Moving along at 50 miles an hour, vehicle number four suddenly had an ignition failure: all systems failed except those that could run directly off the battery. The assistant driver radioed ahead to Señor Ortiz, or "Chaco" as he preferred to be addressed. Chaco, always concerned about an ambush from competing drug lords, told the vehicle to stay put, try to get it restarted and he would send help after he got to the ranch and the "luggage" was safe. He began to feel a bit uneasy: it was night, it was a lonely area, and no stretch of the road could be considered secure. Firepower was control and the one with the most firepower controlled the roads.

If Chaco could have been able to see at night, he would have noticed someone beside the road, kneeling down and pointing a rifle at the front right tire of vehicle No. 3. "Poof" was the only sound, indicating it was air powered. A dart hit and penetrated the tire, causing the driver to slow down to maintain control. Then this vehicle stopped and the men got out with guns drawn, looking for anyone that didn't belong there. They radioed Chaco who was now convinced this was an ambush. He told the men in vehicle No. 3 to change the tire if no one shot at them. He then radioed to the vehicle in front of him and told the driver to step on it, and drive as fast as possible, to run through any trouble ahead. Hopefully the aggressors didn't know which vehicle had the loot and he also doubted they could be strung out along the road, but were probably concentrated in one or two positions.

Suddenly, a small ditch appeared in the headlights on the lead vehicle. The driver tried to speed up and "jump" over it. All he did though was hit the further bank of the ditch with the front wheels of the car, causing it to come to a very sudden stop. Airbags deployed and Chaco's car slammed into their rear end.

Dust was hanging in the air and the men were choking on it, trying to get their wits back together.

At that moment a young woman dressed in a blue and silver colored jumpsuit and wearing a half-face mask and a cape ran up to the No. 2 vehicle and ripped the right backseat passenger door off, pulling the gunman and his rifle out of the vehicle. She hit his chin with her palm and ripped the rifle away. Next she punched a hole through the window, hitting it several times, making it large enough for her to pull the luggage through. Chaco's driver was fighting with his airbag, but Chaco pulled his semi-auto pistol, jumped out of the car, and - before he could squeeze off a round, this girl kicked his gun so hard it flew over the vehicle. She now had the two cases and turned and ran for the bushes. Chaco picked up the AK-47 that was on the ground, and began spraying bullets at the girl who was quickly disappearing into the darkness. His anger and frustration was beyond description; not only had he lost the money but he stood no chance of getting it back unless he caught the girl. Someone had pulled off the Perfect Ambush. Unknown to him, several bullets did hit the girl, but, when they struck the suit she was wearing, their impact was absorbed and they dropped harmlessly to the ground. The material was made of a fibre not found on earth, and the girl, who could run easily at 50 miles an hour, was not from earth either. The last sound coming from the wrecked vehicles was cursing and shouting in Spanish, and gunfire.

The mysterious and fearless girl jogged to her flying craft, opened the door, and put the money inside. Whereupon, she climbed into the cockpit and raised the craft to an altitude of 2,000 feet, turned the nose north, and flew off at 100 miles an hour.

As she piloted the craft through the darkness, she reflected on how she got to where she was, what she was doing, and what she was expected to do. From here on, we will call the girl "Mae", as the name assigned to her for this Mission was Mae Nishimura.

Mae was from the planet Kallabar, in our own galaxy but yet unknown to earth's probes. The "Barites" were humanoid but not identical to humans. Her face was altered slightly and given a Japanese appearance as her supervisors knew most westerners did not distinguish Asian faces from one another, or do it very well.

Her employer was the government agency tasked with keeping an eye on other developing planets that might post a future or present danger to the Barites. Simply put, Mae was a spy. She had spent two years studying English, Spanish, Japanese, and a Chinese dialect. She watched many hours of intercepted television broadcasts. Her mission was to become human for 90 days, and find out if the United States of America had any spacecraft or weaponry that could impede the development or endanger the inhabitants of Kallabar. Area 51 was to be penetrated and examined for such technology. Oh yes, the government on Kallabar knew about Area 51 and hacking computers and anything else connected with technology, which was easily intercepted by automated listening stations disguised as space junk. Everything from television broadcasts of dramas to new flying objects launched into the upper atmosphere of earth was examined for possible information on development of interplanetary travel.

Mae's handlers had come up with the idea for her to be a Panamanian. When she descended from the mother ship in her small spacecraft, final instructions were gone over, but she could contact the ship at any time via their communication devices. She was provided with $1000 in U.S. dollars for a plane ticket from Panama City to Mexico City. Once there, she would move around in her spacecraft, ambush Chaco Ortiz, and use his money for her operating expenses. The Kallabar spy agency did not want to counterfeit anyone's money, as all trails had to be "clean". Next, she would return to ground, and move towards the border, walk through the checkpoint, get her passport stamped, and during the night, remount her spacecraft and fly to San Francisco. Once there, she had to rent a place, and visit around the city, not to learn geography, but to gather as much data as she could about her target. No spur of the moment decisions were as reliable as a sound plan with a backup plan.

The spacecraft could remain motionless and invisible, so she could put it into a "sleep" mode about 200 feet above any building where she spent the night. She could put it in the "Follow" mode, where it would move enough to stay above her, at any height, and be cloaked. However, it could be picked up on radar and if you spray painted it or put anything on it, the cloaking device was useless for hiding the ship from curious eyes.

As planned, Mae landed at night near the town of Hermosillo, Sonora. She had some clothing, but only pants, shoes, and a blouse. So, taking some of the money, she walked into town and found a shop that would take her American money, especially when she bought nearly $100 worth of clothing. No questions asked.

However, the eyes of the drug lords are everywhere, and one of their men noticed the Asian woman buying more clothes than usual, and paying with a $100 bill. He called an associate and he followed her on foot until the associate arrived in a car, then they drove slowly, watching her.

Their attention did not go unnoticed by Mae as she was equipped with electronic devices implanted in her skin that allowed her to observe and be made aware of anyone looking at her and any electronic or metal items they wore. The technology was not available on earth at the time so I cannot describe it very well. Be that as it may, she simply reversed her path and walked in the opposite direction. The men turned around, but she was nowhere to be seen. What Mae had done was simply run quickly down an alley then jump a fence, and run back towards the desert where her vehicle was hidden. She laughed at the effort of these men to follow her.

Now that Mae had some clothing, the riskiest part was ahead. She needed to make a legal entry into the USA, so she was to land near Mexicali, pass through Customs, then, once in the USA, to change one of the $100 bills to smaller ones, making it easier to buy things. She would only carry $500 and leave the rest in her craft. Unknown to Mae or her supervisors, the entire amount of money she had stolen was marked. The United States Treasury, at the request of the Drug Enforcement Agency, had marked the bills, as the DEA knew they would be used in drug dealings in Mexico and they were trying to follow the money trail.

Although Mae's passport was a forgery, she was hoping it would not be noticed by the Customs officials. They were more used to seeing Mexican and Asian passports. A tourist visa was good for up to six months and Mae felt that was plenty of time to complete her mission. If there was any technology with a potential threat to Kallabar, then she would likely be given additional time to render it useless. She must find it first, if it existed. Whether or not she was able to safely return to the mother ship was not the concern of her supervisors.

The next morning, Mae walked into Mexicali, Mexico. She was dressed in blue jeans and a white blouse, and wearing sandals. She carried a tote bag on her shoulder and a travel bag with her left hand. A few people noticed her, but going to the USA to do some shopping was not unusual for the people there.

As for food, Mae certainly had to made adjustments from her usual diet to the varied and often spicy foods she encountered on Earth. For the most part, if she were careful and ate bland milder foods, digestive problems could be avoided. As she did not wish to act suspiciously, she stopped at a small restaurant and went inside. The bus station was a block away and it was not at all unusual for diners to carry their luggage into the restaurant, and eat, while waiting for the next bus or for a friend to pick them up. Her intent was to blend in.

After a small breakfast, Mae proceeded towards the border checkpoint. She only had to cough up $1 to exit Mexico. Walking on the sidewalk, she stopped to rest once and checked to make sure her spacecraft was still above her. It was, according to electronic signals. It contained her anti-gravity jump boots, which allowed her to jump up to as much as 8000 feet, and to step off the highest building and descend at a safe speed to ground level. It also had her special clothing and tools she might need on this assignment. She could not be caught at the border with any futuristic devices. All she had was the luggage with clothing and the $500, and a few personal items such as a hairbrush, cosmetics, and some jewelry, that would look quite normal.

People were lined up to enter the USA. Mae was about 20 people back, and she could see that the lines were dividing between USA citizens, of which there were two people, and Non-USA citizens where everyone else would pass. Only 3 agents were on duty in the pass through room.

After 12 minutes, it was Mae's turn. The agent pointed to the counter top and told her, in Spanish, to place her luggage there, and open it for inspection. Also, she was to empty her pockets and place all items together. The last thing she wanted to do was call attention to herself, but the agent was looking at her with an odd look on his face. He asked her for identification, so she showed him her passport. He scrutinized it closely and looked at her several times. "What's the nature of your business in the United States?" Mae answered in English, "I'm going to visit Arizona State University, the University of California at San Francisco, and a couple of other campuses. I'm looking for a good Graduate program in Latin American studies." The agent seemed satisfied with that because he stamped and gave her a 6 month visa. She was on her way to San Francisco.

Mae began walking up the highway towards El Centro. Carrying the luggage was no challenge for her. Several men offered her a ride but she declined. Finally, a sedan slowed and a man and woman with two children in back were looking at her. The man asked in Spanish if she needed a ride. Mae accepted the offer and got in the car. She told them she was, for now, going to the bus station in El Centro, where she would buy a ticket to San Diego. The driver and his family were from San Bernardino and would allow her to ride along. Mae, however, explained that she wanted to take her time and sample life in the USA and taking a bus was fine with her.

They let her off in downtown El Centro and Mae gave them some money, which they reluctantly accepted. Since she needed to wait for dark to retrieve the spacecraft, Mae decided to put the luggage in a locker at the bus station, freeing her to walk about town and not be noticed. She had several hours to kill so she visited the library, went to a diner for lunch, then checked into a motel room. About 10 p.m. she would leave the motel, walk to a dark area even if it was outside town, mount the spacecraft and continue her journey to San Francisco.

When Mae mounted her flying craft at El Centro, she ascended to 500 feet. With the automatic ground clearance indicator, this allowed her a safety margin when flying over mountains. She would only doze on her journey, and not sleep. When she got closer to San Francisco, she would have to descend even lower, quite aware of the heavy air traffic in the area. Her plan was to turn on the invisibility screen and proceed to a building at an address she had been given, where she could rent a room. The craft could hover indefinitely, although it was a good idea to reposition it every day to account for normal drift. Unfortunately for her, the spacecraft was picked up by U.S. military radar as soon as it crossed the frontier.

The Border Patrol, in coordination with the U.S. military, maintains watch stations along the southern U.S. border. The main purpose is to pick up low flying aircraft that might and likely are flying drugs into the USA in a small single engine plane that can land on unimproved airstrips. When one is detected, the flight is tracked then law enforcement authorities along the route are notified so they can move to the landing area and inspect the aircraft for contraband, ideally. What usually happens is a cat and mouse game where the airplane dumps the contraband at a certain location, then turns around and flies back to Mexico. This would hardly show up on radar, and no sheriff's office in the land could have enough men to cover possible drop sites. However, this pattern was different: the craft was seen to hover, and to move as fast as 300 mph, and it maintained a course towards San Francisco; it never turned back.

When the craft had penetrated 350 miles into U.S. airspace, interceptor jets were scrambled at Yuma Naval Air Station. It was dark, so interceptions would be radar-guided, the very technology that the Barrites had no way to defeat as they did not know it existed. Bearing down on their target, the two F-14s were ready to either escort the craft or to shoot it down. So far, this flying craft had not responded to any air traffic controllers' requests for identification. When the F-14s were within 10 miles of an intercept, Mae realized she was being tracked and the countermeasures she had available could not counteract this technology. Therefore, she simply took the ship vertical to a height of 60,000 feet at a climbing rate far exceeding the interceptor jets. Needless to say, ground control was stunned and so were the Navy pilots. Supervisors were called to the radar screens at a number of military and civilian radar sites to observe this UFO, unidentified flying object. Yes, this was the first time for many people to see, even if on radar, a real UFO. Some commanders wanted it shot down but the Air Force senior commander instructed all interceptors to not fire until this object was adequately identified as a threat. So far, it was only over sparsely populated areas and did not behave like an airplane. If it were hit with a missile, it would be destroyed and most of the technology could not be reproduced.

Military and civilian radar continued tracking the craft across southern California all the way to the San Francisco area. Mae was aware of congested air traffic near large cities, so she felt it best to descend to a few hundred feet and go slowly, at 200 mph. The craft was cloaked and could not be seen by human eyes as she came within 300 miles of the greater San Francisco area. The military was aware that the craft had descended below radar and all air bases were alerted; interceptors were scrambled but found nothing. Civilian airliners were notified but reported no visual contact. As this was now a potential national security issue, the White House was notified, but there wasn't much else the military could do.

Things went as intended, thus showing the validity of making plans and keeping to them. Although Mae had to be careful about air traffic, with the onboard warning and tracking systems build into the spacecraft, she arrived over San Francisco Bay around 5 a.m. at which point she activated the hover function which made the craft remain suspended whatever height she specified. It was also invisible to the human eye…but it did not make it invisible to radar.

Mae had been instructed to land near an older part of the city, then use a seedy hotel where she could pay in cash. Her coaches, who had made previous visits to Earth, had told her to never write a check or leave any sort of a paper trail. However, her paying for a hotel room with the marked money quickly put the DEA and FBI on her trail. When the hotel business manager took the rent money to the bank for deposit, he did not know who had paid with which particular dollar bills. However, when several of the bills were scanned at the bank, the numbers were automatically sent to the Federal Reserve Bank in San Francisco. There the numbers were entered into a database and the marked bills were quickly noted, whereupon the Secret Service was notified. The Secret Service coordinated with the DEA and found out this money has been marked and used in drug transactions with suspected Mexican drug cartels. The purpose was to trace the movement of the money to see who was accumulating the wealth.

The DEA launched an investigation to find out who was in possession of the marked bills. It only took one day to trace the deposit at the original bank back to the Downtowner Hotel, a somewhat sordid and old building on Mission Street whose main residents were in the economic low class, mainly day workers, welfare mothers, suspicious people with no visible means of support, drug users, and an occasional dreamer who had come to the city to find fortune and fame.

Mae was only to be there for a few weeks, which should be enough time to check out Area 51. How she did it was up to her. At first she used taxis to get around the city but quickly learned the bus system. The main objective each day was to remain inconspicuous. However, the Hotel manager had already noted that the Asian girl paid cash, spoke like an educated person, and asked a lot of questions about the city and how best to get a job, find the library, which freeways went where, and other questions that neither a tourist nor a long term resident would ask. The manager didn't really care as long as she paid the rent on time.

It was decided by Federal authorities to let the FBI handle the investigation then pass the appropriate information to the DEA and Customs as it was suspected that the person passing the money most likely entered the United States with more than $5000, which was a violation of the law. The Secret Service had their interest which did not include compiling information on Mexican drug lords or movement of cartels into the USA. The DEA was concerned with following the money trail to identify networks. The FBI had not been informed by the military of a potential UFO coming into the San Francisco area; it was not considered in their purview. So, the flying craft floated invisibly 25 feet above the Downtowner Hotel.

In the mornings, Mae would leave the hotel to go eat somewhere. She often went to a nearby eatery, then walked around downtown, thinking and planning. It wouldn't be difficult to fly to Area 51, then debark from her craft and walk around, checking for weaponry inside the buildings. All flying machines that went or stayed outside had already been seen by Barrite probes; she needed to get inside. Before launching her move, however, she saw the importance of proper planning. So, she spent lots of time at the nearest library, reading anything concerned with Area 51. She wanted to know the base so well she would not need a map.

So, as events sometimes fall precisely in place, we find Mae was looking for a part time job, as a cover. Unemployed people draw too much attention where they live. She was walking on Pilgrim Avenue where coffee shops, hotels and haberdasheries abounded. A sign in the window of the China Lady Hotel caught her eye: "Waitress wanted". She went inside and found they were looking for a waitress for the bar. They wanted a part time person available from two to six or seven PM, which was ideal for her, as she was still free in the mornings to prepare herself for "dropping in" on Area 51. Of course she got the job: she was Asian in appearance and pleasant to look at, for Mae had adapted her usual appearance to be more in line with what human males consider desirable female attributes, such as curves in all the right places.

Now, the FBI was watching Mae, taking note of her coming and going, and her employment. The marked money had led investigators to the Downtowner Hotel and the business manager told them only two people were new and paid in cash: a college student originally from Fresno, and an Asian woman. A team of two agents was sent to the China Lady Hotel bar to have a few drinks. Different agents were used so Mae would not notice a regular visit by any of them.

It was a Tuesday, September 2nd; Scott Hayfield and Marcel Williams would go to the China Lady bar at 4:30 in the afternoon, to observe Mae and see if she acted "natural" or had regular clients. The two FBI agents sat at a booth and Mae came over. "What would you gentlemen like?" she asked.

Marcel was the first to answer: "Gin and tonic, if you don't mind?"

Mae then looked at Scott, who told her, "I'll have a rum and coke, thank you."

"Certainly, Gentlemen; I'll be right back."

In a few minutes, Mae returned with their drinks. Marcel decided to strike up a chat with her, as the bar was not busy. "Are you new around here? I haven't seen you before", he queried.

"Yes, I've been here for 3 days now."

Scott broke in with "Ah, well, where are you from?"

"Panama."

Both agents said, in unison: "Panama?"

Mae came back with "Yes, I'll be enrolling in a graduate program, so I'm making some money to help with college costs."

Scott asked her "What are you studying?"

"Oh, I am very interested in Astrophysics."

Again, both agents were surprised at this answer. They were expecting to hear her voice a major in the Liberal Arts or Business.

Marcel tossed out another question: "So, where are you enrolled?"

Mae answered back, "Oh, I'm not enrolled yet; I'm still checking out universities in the area, that is, the western United States. Excuse me, I have another customer."

Scott and Marcel looked at one another. Scott was first, with "What do you think? Is she a spy?"

"She's sure a pretty one, but …. Her English is perfect, but….. if she's building a cover, it's transparent. I wonder what she's after?"

Scott answered back, "We can't take several weeks and lots of drinks to find out. I think I'll put a move on her, at least so I can get a feel for where she's coming from. Can you take a bathroom break and give me a few minutes with her?"

Marcel reluctantly slid out of the booth, "yeah, see what you can do. I'm married so I can't be one on one with her."

Scott waited until Mae passed out drinks at another table, then he waved her over.

"Yes, sir, a refill?"

"No, actually, uhmmm….No chance to study Astrophysics in Panama?"

"Not likely. That's why I came here."

Scott continued, "My name is Scott, and my friend is Marcel. We come in here now and then."

"Are you some sort of Law Enforcement Official?"

"Well,yes, actually, we're with the FBI. How did you know?"

Mae responded with "I see your firearms, you and the other guy, but what's the FBI?"

"Federal Bureau of Investigation".

"Oh, some sort of federal police, then?"

"Yeah, federal agents."

"What do you investigate?"

"Any federal crime."

"No, Scott, what do YOU investigate?"

"Oh, I can't tell you that. Let's just say I am currently assigned to financial investigations."

Mae nodded nonchalantly and broke off to serve some customers.

Marcel returned to the booth. "Any luck?"
"Well, she made us; she said she could see our firearms."

Both agents felt their handguns and readjusted them. Then Scott said "I'm going to push it."

"What do you mean?"

"If we just come here once a week, we'll never get much on her. I'm going to ask her out."

"Scott, you'd best not do that without clearing it with Mr Bevins first."

"Hey, it'll be okay; trust me."

In a few minutes, the agents left. Scott, however, dawdled near the door until he saw Mae go to their table to clean it. He walked over to her and pulled out a five dollar bill. "Oh, hey, we forgot to leave you a tip."

"A tip?"

"Yeah, here." Scott held the bill up to Mae's chest.

She looked at it and asked "What's that for?"

'It's a tip, girl. Don't you know what a tip is?"

"A piece of advice. Something tilted in a manner that it could fall on its side."

Scott snickered, "Nawww, this is a tip: a gift of cash for good service."

"Oh?"

Scott continued: "There's a lot of things about the USA that you don't know. You need a guide, someone to help you along….. and I volunteer for the task."

"Oh, well, I don't know. I don't want to be a bother."

"What time do you get off work?"

"At 9 pm."

"Okay, meet me in the lobby and we'll talk. At least we'll get started."

Mae looked puzzled, "Started on what?"

"On helping you with American expressions."

"Well, I guess it's okay."

"See you at 9:00" he said as he exited the bar.

Scott walked up to where Marcel was waiting. " All righto! Nine tonight, here."

"Well done, Scotty."

Sure enough, Scott was at the bar at 9 p.m. He sat at a table, then Mae came over and said to him, "I'll be off in a minute. Let's go to a diner and it'll be quieter."

The couple walked a block to Gil's restaurant, where they could sit and chat. Scott began with asking her about her attraction to the West Coast. She indicated that it was a melting pot of different races and she might more easily blend in. "What sort of hobbies do you have? What do you like to do for fun?" He queried, hoping she might say that she loved sex. He was disappointed when Mae told him, "Oh, I'm interested in astronomy, UFOs, aliens, the whole spectrum."

Scott was thinking : well, this is different. "So, why the interest in that junk?"

"It's not junk. There probably was an alien spaceship that crash landed at Roswell. You don't actually KNOW."

"That's silly; no such thing ever happened. My brother works for the government and he would know."

Mae asked, "Why is that? Does he investigate alien contacts?"

"Not quite. He works at Area 51, a secret base in Nevada. He's a physicist. He says it's all bunk."

Mae was suddenly excited. Could it be her plans were falling right in her lap? What luck to encounter a person who might help her get into Area 51. "Oh, I'd love to visit Area 51! Could your brother take us on a tour?"

"No, it's a secret base; no public visitors."

"If it's secret, why are you telling me about it, Scott?"

"Everyone knows about it; they just don't know the particulars. "

"Well, I'd love to meet your brother, just the same."

Suddenly, Scott was impregnated with the thought that Mae, being a spy from China, would have an interest in anything connected with national defense. Had he inadvertently set a trap or opened a door?

The couple chatted for an hour, getting acquainted. Scott thought Mae was acting looney as part of her cover. Mae thought Scott was suspicious of her and that he might even be investigating her.

At 10:10 Mae said, "I have to go now; it's getting late."

Scott offered, "It's been nice. Could I give you a ride somewhere?"

"Oh, no, I'm fine."

"Do you have a car?"

"No. I'll walk to where I live."

"Where's that?"

"Oh, just 'down the street a ways' ".

"Mae, is it safe? It's ten at night; a lot of bad guys are starting to crawl around, looking for an easy mark."

Not knowing exactly what Scott meant but grasping the point, Mae answered back, "I'll be fine; really."

They each then left and went their separate ways.

Now Mae was equipped with several devices for self-protection or enhancement of physical abilities. The anti-gravity boots have already been mentioned. The invisibility cloak was also bulletproof. Under her left thumb was a "discharger", a tiny device that could shoot a bolt of energy at a target, causing failure of the synaptic junction; the strength could be set from "kill" to "weakness", such that the person affected would lose control of all voluntary muscles permanently, causing paralysis, or as mild as a minor weakness in muscle movement for a second. She also could wear an invisible protective helmet, bullet proof and with sensors built in that indicated to her in which direction a threat was coming from. These were all "just in case" items of defense.

Mae had developed an appreciation for root beer. Sugary foods were very pleasant to consume as the Barrite diet used only tiny amounts of sweets, which made for healthier diets. She did, however, avoid tobacco. Alcohol was consumed in small amounts as intoxication affected reasoning and physical control of the body, just as in humans.

So, on the way back to her hotel, Mae stopped at the corner store, to purchase a bottle of root beer. As soon as she stepped inside, she realized an armed robbery was taking place. In a single motion, she slipped a black elastic band around her head, as a mask. It had eyeholes and she also had an orange wig, which purpose was to distract assailants. It was another of her defenses.

One bad guy was pointing a pistol at the cashier, and another was in the back, loading meat into a bag. The first bad guy turned towards Mae, hesitated for an instant, then yelled "GET ON THE FLOOR!" Mae glanced at the one in the back who hadn't noticed her yet. Instantly Mae moved towards the first robber, grabbed his wrist and pointed it upward then zapped him with a medium charge with the discharger; he crumpled to the floor, unconscious. Then she pointed her weapon at the second robber and zapped him; he also fell unconscious. Although the discharger was silent, the store cashier thought that somehow this girl had shot both of the robbers. Mae then took the pistol from the first guy's hand and placed it on the counter, went to the back and picked up the second robber and carried him to the front and lay him down beside the first one. She placed his weapon on the counter too.

"Call the police and tell them about this, but please don't mention me."

Mae then got a bottle of root beer from the cooler and walked back to the cashier. "How much do I owe you?"

The cashier was scared, stunned, and speechless. In the middle of being robbed, an angel walked in, disabled both men, and now was paying for a soft drink. "It's …it's…it's on me."

"Call the police, okay?" Mae placed two dollar bills on the counter and left.

The two robbers were slowly recovering from their being zapped, but they were weak and nauseated, and in no condition to even stand.

The cashier was nervously trying to call 911. He stammered and stuttered when the dispatcher answered.

When the police arrived, the cashier tried to explain how a girl walked in, shot the two men, then casually paid for a bottle of root beer and walked out.

Of course there were no bullet holes in the bad guys; they were just sick and weak, as if someone had knocked the wind out of them.

What should have been an ordinary dull police report getting no time on the evening news, by morning had the crime reporters buzzing with the news of a vigilante girl who could shoot robbers from 50 feet away, through solid walls, and she could jump 50 feet, and she could stretch out her arms to grab guns from 20 feet away…and so on. It got more intense by noon the next day. The FBI paid no attention to it as it wasn't their purview. The only official statement the San Francisco police put out was a person wearing a Halloween outfit had walked in on a robbery, and had used judo to disable two armed robbers. There was nothing else to report. The city crime reporters gave the mysterious person the nickname The Masked Wonder. In a few days, the incident was forgotten.

The next day, Scott made a report to his supervisor, Agent Bevins. "I'm making progress. She really wants to get inside Area 51, though, so maybe we could get her to expose her hand somehow."

It took about three weeks to set everything up and coordinate with Las Vegas. During that time, Scott had spent some time with Mae, taking her to dinner and just sitting in bistros and cafes, chatting about the city, American culture, American expressions, just anything that came up. He found it difficult to be romantic with her; so far, he had only managed to put his arm around her. He attributed it to her Asian culture which did not smile upon familiarities of a romantic nature if the couple were not engaged. In addition, his assignment was to find out what she was after, not to seduce her, so he kept things on a subdued level.

Arrangements were made for two FBI agents from the Las Vegas, Nevada office to act as David Hayfield, Scott's brother, and as David's wife. Now, all Scott had to do was to invite Mae to accompany him to Las Vegas to meet his "brother".

So, Scott and Mae drove to Las Vegas in his car.

When they got to Las Vegas, Scott rented a room. It was already rented to the FBI and was equipped with hidden cameras and microphones. A lot of money was being spent to find out what Mae was up to.

At Seven p.m., they left the motel and met up with Scott's "brother and his wife" at the Silver Nugget Restaurant. Introductions were made and the two couples ate a casual dinner, and chatted about common interests, the common interests being, for the males: family news; for the females: nothing. Mae wanted to bring up Area 51, but Scott had told her not to, that HE would. So while the two women sat there quietly, Mae sensed something was wrong. Her acuity quickly picked up on the behavior of Scott, that he was "acting", and the fellow identified as David, was not a true relative.

"Excuse me, David. You and Scott are brothers? Or half brothers?" she asked.

"Same Mom, same Dad; brothers."

Scott shot Mae a look of exasperation, but the two men continued their chit chat.

David's wife asked Mae, "What do you think of the USA?"

Mae thought a moment then answered with "it's amazing how we can start out in a large city on the coast, and drive East, and come to a huge desert sparsely populated."

Mae could also sense that things weren't normal with David's wife; she seemed to be interrogating Mae and not chatting with her.

Finally, Mae broke protocol and turned to David to ask him: "So, what do you do at Area 51?"

"Oh! Scott said you were interested in UFOs and aliens and stuff like that. But I can assure you, we don't keep a stock of aliens there. It's just a place to test technology and that's about all I can say."

Scott was visibly upset and glared at Mae.

Mae kept on, "So, you don't have any spaceships there that fly to other planets and attack them, or even spy on them?"

"I can't say what we have."

"But you can say what you don't have?" asked Mae.

"Miss Nishimura, most of your questions could be answered if you'd read the papers or magazines. The USA has already sent space probes to other planets, and even one to outside our solar system. That was not anything secret. It's not a project I worked on, but …if you want to find aliens, you might try Roswell; at least they welcome tourists like you."

"Oh, maybe we can go to Roswell too, on this trip?" Mae looked at Scott.

"No, I have to be at work on Monday, so, your alien searches will have to be done some other time", Scott answered with noticeable irritation.

The chat was awkward after that, and Mae resorted to sitting quietly and answered questions with a minimum of words.

By 8 p.m., the visit was over, and the two parties said "good-bye" to one another.

Walking outside, Scott spoke sharply to Mae: Are you happy now? NO ALIENS! You watch too much science fiction, what with your spaceships and monsters. Is that all you have inside your head? I told you I'd bring it up, and, like he said, 'there's nothing to it'."

Mae's feelings were not hurt, she was simply absorbing and analyzing the date coming in from Scott's behavior.

"Well, what do you want to do? Gamble? Take in a floor show?" he asked.

"I don't want to do much of anything, except go back the motel and talk with you."

Scott rolled his eyes and snapped " about WHAT? Your damned aliens?"

"No, your lies."

The squabbling continued when they returned to the motel. He wanted her to stop with the alien talk and she wanted to know why he was deceiving her, not quite suspecting that she was considered a spy. In actuality she was far more minacious than the FBI could have realized.

Finally, Mae got quiet, and Scott was glad for the respite. He hadn't conceived that the trip would go sour so quickly. "Scott, I haven't been honest with you either."

He looked at her. "Then tell me about it, because I know you're going to, anyway."

"I'm not from Panama, well, I came here from Panama, but I'm not originally from Panama."

Scott was now beginning to hope that she would come clean and he could make an easy arrest. He was really very irritated with the alien talk and planned a few days off once he got back to San Francisco.

"You see, Scott, I'm an …alien." She said it very softly but distinctly.

"An illegal alien? Where from, China?"

"No, I'm from another planet, from across the galaxy-"

Scott stood up and walked around the room. "You just don't stop it, do you? I am sick of your alien talk. Just shut up, SHUT UP, do you hear? I'm beginning to think that you're crazy, crazy or on drugs or something. An alien girl from another galaxy, my ass."

He shook his head disgustedly. Then he said, "I'm going for a walk, a drink. I have to get away from you for a while." He grabbed his jacket and went out, leaving Mae sitting silently on her bed. Her mind, however, was very active. "Hmmm, well, he doesn't believe me and I don't believe him. But I'm certain he brought me here to find out who or what I am. Then again, he doesn't believe in alien visits to earth."

She sat there a few minutes then an idea took hold of her: "Now is a good time to go to Area 51; it's dark, he won't see me change, and he'll be gone awhile." So she changed into her special clothing: the boots, jumpsuit, cape, mask and orange hair, and went outside. Calling her ship down, she went into an alley then floated up to it, got in, and took off for Area 51. She wanted to be done by sunrise.

Once Mae got up to an altitude above 500 feet, she was instantly spotted on radar. The duty team at Nellis AFB however, did not connect this contact with the previous mysterious ship of a few weeks ago. Jets were scrambled, which Mae was aware of, so she lowered her altitude to 300 feet. The fighters were unable to hold contact with her.

Her speed quickly got her to Area 51, where she debarked and floated down to the top of a large building. The discharger could also cut holes in metal and concrete, which she could utilize to cut a hole in the roof as easily as a warm knife cuts butter. Not wishing to leave traces of her presence, Mae decided to start entering through doors or windows.

At this point, Security had been alerted that a UFO had been seen in the area, but no one in the Guard Shack took such a report seriously. So far, they had not confronted or escorted any Martians off the property since the base was built.

When Mae descended from the roof to the ground beside a building, she was immediately noticed by a sentinel camera. The guard called the nearby sentry " We have an intruder by Building 17A; appears to be female with a cape, mask, and wearing a jumpsuit." Most of the guards laughed when they heard the description and thought the guard on camera watch was drunk or joking around. Not Joe Luttrell, however; he took his job seriously and moved with his dog to Building 17A. Two more guards left the Shack and drove to the Building.

Mae was figuring how to get the door open when she heard a dog barking and saw the sentry turn the corner. She instantly cloaked herself and floated up to 15 feet, almost on the roof. Now the dog could sense her, even though Sentry Luttrell saw nothing. The dog was barking furiously and Luttrell shined his spotlight at where Mae was, but he couldn't see her.

"Who's there? Show yourself!"

Mae uncloaked as the spotlight was in her eyes. To Luttrell, she appeared to be holding on to the side of the building. "It's just me." She answered, politely.

Luttrell was startled by her sudden appearance and thought she was falling off the roof. "Don't let go! I'll get someone to bring a ladder." He called for help on his radio. Intruder or not, his training told him to rescue anyone in distress then question them.

"I don't need a ladder."

"Who are you and what are you doing?"

"My name is Leazhiornamaprilowanshtandur and I'm looking around. I must go now."

She cloaked then floated over the building and moved on to another door. Once she figured out how door locks worked, she could open them in a few seconds. Then when she got inside, she had to run quickly to any assembly or production area that held large craft. The guards outside were running back and forth, looking for her.

This was taking much too long and too many people knew she was there. So, she programmed her clear helmet to scan for large metal objects of the general appearance of a flying craft. She would still have to move from building to building.

Two hours went by and she had covered most of the buildings but at a cost: the entire base was alerted, extra guards were patrolling, and dogs were sensing her. One dog got free of his leash and attacked Mae so she had to float about 15 feet above the ground while she examined one of the buildings. When the guard arrived, he could not see her; all he saw was the black sky and Building 24C. Also, she was not inside the buildings but was scanning them from the outside, so she would not notice details. Time, however, was becoming more important, now that the base was looking for her.

Finally, the only building left was 11A, off by itself at the North end of the base. She ran there and started scanning. The dogs were barking louder as they detected her and the guards were heading in her direction.

Then, she saw what she was looking for: a flying craft that appeared to be rocket powered. Without hesitation, she cut a hole in the wall and entered the building. Not knowing how to turn on the inside lights, she had to depend on her intrinsic light from a small device on her helmet. This truly appeared to be a machine capable of interplanetary flight on account of the engine type. It was rather small, and could not carry much food. On a flight of more than a month, the craft would have to find food along its journey, so she surmised. Probably an experimental craft, it might carry a small animal at the most.

"HOLD IT!"

Mae turned but now the tables were reversed. She was now seen but she could not see the guard. She could cloak but had to deal with possibly being shot. She slowly raised her hands and began to float up very slowly.

"Lady, you better give me a darn good reason why you're inside here, AND wearing a mask. You're not Wonder Woman."

"No, I'm a visitor from another planet. You're very good; you're the only one to capture me. All the other guards are running in circles."

Now she was 5 feet off the ground, and she could also see the guard. If she turned off her light, they both could not see each other. If she darted quickly to one side or the other, he might spray the area with gunfire and might hit her. The clothing was bullet resistant, but her jaw and neck weren't protected. If she cloaked, he would almost certainly shoot. So Mae just held her position.

"Get on the ground, spread eagle. Put your hands behind your back."

She made her decision: "Not now!" Mae quickly ran at a right angle to the guard as she cloaked. He fired, but the bullet struck her cape and fell to the floor, spent. She ran behind some machinery and turned off her lamp. Two seconds later the overhead lights were on, and several guards and dogs spilled into the hangar. She cloaked and floated up towards the ceiling. This was getting risky. The dogs were frantic, and the guards, although they couldn't see her, knew almost exactly where she was, thanks to the dogs.

So Mae lowered herself and ran across some equipment towards the hole she had already cut. Now she was behind the guards. The dogs were following her moves but she got outside ahead of them. Promptly she floated up to 200 feet and called her ship. She then got inside it and flew off, back to Las Vegas.

She was nervous and sweating as she made her report "No interplanetary craft capable of carrying humans or probes has been detected."

Arriving back in Las Vegas, she could see the early rays of dawn starting to find their way above her.

She descended and changed back to her regular clothing, while inside her craft. Then, she got out and walked back to the motel.

Mae quietly opened the door, hoping to see Scott sleeping. She was disappointed: he was not in his bed. He stepped out of the bathroom and confronted her. "Where have you been? I've been very worried. I thought maybe you did something stupid and were walking back to 'Frisco. I've been beside myself for hours."

"I went to Area 51, took a look around, and left. No aliens."

Scott disgustedly threw his shirt on the bed and shot back, "You just won't give it up, will you? I've had enough of you. You're a nutcase. Anyway, it's 6: AM; we might as well get some breakfast then drive back."

"Okay, that's a good idea. This conflict of ours is irreconcilable."

"No shit!"

They gathered their luggage, loaded the car, stopped for breakfast and got on the highway. Hardly a word was spoken. It was going to be a long uncomfortable drive.

Finally Mae broke the silence. "Hey, look, you can drop me off anywhere. I can get to where I need to be without any problem."

"It's my duty to get you home. There's nothing out here in the desert. If you hitch a ride with someone, they could murder you and leave your bones to bleach in the sun, if you were ever found."

"Have you forgotten? I'm an alien; I'll just get in my UFO and fly back to San Francisco," Mae laughed.

Scott managed a laugh somehow, and this broke the standoff. The rest of the trip wasn't unpleasant, but they both knew not to broach the subject of UFOs or Area 51.

Scott didn't call Mae for two weeks. He met with his supervisor and they went over the tapes of his and Mae's time in the motel room. There was nothing conclusive. Mr Bevins did mention that the same night they were in Las Vegas, a female did penetrate the security fences at Area 51 and cut an access hole in at least one building. Nothing was taken and the woman got away. Scott and Mr Bevins concluded that it was most unlikely that Mae could have made the 100 mile trip there and back in a car and penetrated the base's security and run amok in less than 4 hours. It was just a coincidence. The base security estimate the "visitor's" time on ground as 117 minutes from first detection to the time she disappeared after running outside of Building 11A.

The FBI office also doubted the mental stability of Mae but nonetheless Scott was encouraged to call her just to check on her and see what she was up to.

After getting back to work, Mae was ready to return to her own people. She had concluded a successful mission but not without trouble and the FBI was so close to discovering exactly what she was.

As her life settled back to what it had been before the trip to Las Vegas, two incidents occurred that left the city police mystified.

The first incident was dubbed the Rescue of Molly Harper. Molly was a six year old girl who had disappeared from her yard. Neighbors told police they saw two men in a car drive up to the girl who was on her bicycle, talk with her, then one of them opened the back door and the little girl got in. The parents were frantic, needless to say. The police and FBI were on full alert, and Molly's picture was on the news. The parents were begging the abductor to return the little girl even if a ransom wasn't wanted.

Mae had been watching this unfold on the news, and she decided to find the little girl. It would not be easy, even with the technology she had available. However, she had a look and see camera on her spaceship, which, given base data, could locate any person that was alive. All Mae needed was a sample of the child's DNA. She decided the best way to get it was to surreptitiously enter the Harper house, and find which bedroom the little girl slept in then obtain some hair or skin cells. Since there was only one child, the task was made easier.

That night, Mae easily slipped inside the house, got a DNA sample, then went to her spacecraft. She flew back to San Francisco, as her on board computer analyzed the DNA, looking for a match somewhere in the city. Of course, she was picked up on radar but no interception was possible.

In about 25 minutes, the computer found a match at the address of an abandoned hotel on Frye Avenue. The child was on the second floor and was alive. The information was read by Mae, who immediately flew to the location and landed over the 5 story building.

Mae's glasses were 3D, allowing her to see inside buildings. There were three adult males noted near the child: one was in the hallway of Room 216; the other two were inside the room, apparently sleeping.

Mae then decided to enlist the help of the San Francisco police, so she went to ground level and walked to the corner of Frye Avenue and Natoma Street, where she would flag down a passing patrol car; she just didn't want to attract a lot of attention.

So, she floated halfway up a streetlight and looked up and down Natoma St. Several pedestrians stared at her, as she appeared to be held up by invisible wires, but it was late night and details could not be seen by observers.

Mae was holding on to the light post, about 12 feet up, when she saw a patrol car headed her way. So she went down to the street and walked into the middle of traffic. It wasn't crowded but a couple of drivers honked their horns and swerved around her. The policeman saw her too and he hit his lights and stopped.

Patrolman Tierney got out and said to Mae:" Get out of the street! Go stand on the sidewalk!"

Mae ignored his directives and got within ten feet of him, then said "The Harper girl is in the Hotel Grim, Room 216. I need your help NOW."

Tierney repeated "Get out of the street!"

Mae floated right over his patrol car, keeping 2 inches between the bottom of the anti-gravity boots and his roof, bent down to look at him, then pointed at the Hotel, "She's in there and I'm going to get her. Come and help me; there are three men that might be bad guys." She then floated down to the street and ran towards the hotel. Getting there, she jumped up to the second floor and sought an open window. She didn't know if Patrolman Tierney was on his way or not.

Entering quietly and floating along the hall, she turned the corner where Bad Guy No. 1 was sitting. She zapped him and knocked him unconscious. He fell out of the chair and someone in the room said "Ray? That you?"

In her best male voice, Mae said "Uhhhhhhh, sickkkkk", as she cloaked.

All Mae had to do was zap any part of Bad Guy No. 2, bare skin or not, as the discharger was set to a medium charge. So when No. 2 looked through the peephole, he saw Ray's body on the floor. He quickly opened the door, with a gun pointed into the hall, but he saw only Ray. That's when Mae zapped him and he collapsed, unconscious.

Mae ran into the room and busted through the door where little Molly was. The Bad Guy No. 3 was sleeping in another room. He heard the commotion and grabbed his gun, then pulled open his bedroom door, stepped into the common room and saw someone in Molly's room. "WHAT THE HELL!" he yelled as he pointed his pistol at Mae.

Mae had picked up little Molly and was turning back towards the bedroom door when Bad Guy No. 3 appeared. So Mae hit him with a rather heavy charge from her weapon. Bad Guy 3 was blown off his feet, across the common room, out to the hall, and into the facing wall.

Patrolman Tierney was coming down the hall with gun drawn, and he saw the incapacitated Ray, then, he saw Bad Guy No. 3 go flying backwards and hit the wall. Now there were 3 unconscious bad guys.

Mae stepped into the hallway with Molly in her arms.

Tierney yelled at her "GET ON THE GROUND!" but he dared not point his pistol towards the child, so he lowered it.

Mae handed the child over to Tierney, saying, "Now get her out of here. Get her to safety. These bad guys aren't dead; they'll come out of it in a few minutes."

Then Mae picked up the bad guys pistols and tossed them down the hall opposite of where Tierney was. "Okay, Molly; I'm going now. This nice policeman will take care of you." Mae walked swiftly retracing her route of entry; it was time for her to go.

Patrolman Tierney was puzzled but he had 3 pistols to gather up. Fortunately, his backup arrived and they cuffed the bad guys, and took the pistols. In 3 minutes, several more policemen arrived and they had control of the situation.

Tierney spent half an hour telling the patrol sergeant about the mysterious woman with the cape and red mask. He couldn't figure out how she was able to take on three bad guys and incapacitate them all without firing a shot. By the next day, the Masked Wonder was again in the news.

The second incident in which Mae was a crime fighter happened two days after returning from Las Vegas. Mae was walking to work along Capp Street when she heard a woman scream: "HELP! THIEF!" as a purse snatcher ran towards her. Mae simply tackled him and he hit the sidewalk with such force that he lost all interest in being combative. She then put him in an armlock and waited for the police to arrive. The woman victim ran to her and said "Oh, thank you, so much, thank you. I didn't think I'd get my purse back."

Mae's response was,"Oh, this is nothing; no challenge at all."

When the police arrived, they took in the situation and Mae gave the thief over to their custody.

One policeman asked, "Wait, Miss. We need to get your name."

Mae told him, "Oh, just call me the Masked Wonder." She laughed and gave the required information, then went onto work. The woman victim took a long look at Mae as they stood on the sidewalk surrounded by police; she was wondering if this Asian woman could really possibly be the Masked Wonder. The incident never made the papers.

Mae's cell phone rang and she answered it. "Hello."

"Mae, this is Scott. Hey, I was wondering if you'd like to get together for a drink or a chat. Let's just restart our relationship. You can talk about anything you want to talk about. I would just like to see you again."

"No thanks, Scott. I'm not your type. I don't want you to call me again. You have your life and I have mine." Then she hung up the phone.

Scott came by the bar once when Mae was working and he attempted a chat. "Look, I'm sorry about everything. It just went bad. I'm just convinced all this UFO talk and aliens is bull. But if you like talking about it, okay. I just wish we could get onto other things. We don't eat out enough, ya know?"

"Scott, you are who you are and I am simply not compatible with you and your lifestyle. Thank you for your time. Let us now separate and go on with our lives."

Scott turned away and walked quietly out of the bar.

It had been two days since Scott had seen or heard from Mae. It was over. He had never met a stranger girl in his life. He was back at work concentrating on his job, and the phone rings.

"FBI, Agent Robbins. … just a moment please. Scott, you want to take a call from Mae Nishimura?"

Scott had had enough of her and was irritated by her call. However, he thought maybe if he told her off, he could get rid of her. "This is Agent Hayfield."

"Hey, I'm leaving."

"Good. Have a nice trip."

"I'm going back to where I came from. I just called to say goodbye."

"That planet in the Orion Constellation, right?" and Scott rolled his eyes. He wanted to put the call on the speaker so his coworkers could get a laugh.

"Scott, go look out the window nearest your desk."

"I'm very busy. You take care of yourself."

"No, just take a look. Really."

Scott was distracted by the others in the office rushing to the west side windows and gaping. He got up and walked to the nearest window where he craned his neck to see what the others were looking at. Someone said, "It's the Masked Wonder!"

There was Mae, in her silver jumpsuit, cape, and all, floating about 15 feet away from the fourth floor window, with no visible means of support. She placed the cell phone on the window sill, then she gave a faint smile and a gentle movement of her right fingertips, waving goodbye. As she floated upwards, over the top of the building, everyone inside was gasping in disbelief. Scott was astonished and speechless. He was searching in his mind for a reasonable explanation to this event.

Mae floated up to her ship, got in, and set the controls for the mother ship. As the craft broke free of earth's gravity, she looked down at the planet and remarked, "Strange place."

Postscript: a few weeks after Mae departed for her home, a task force composed of FBI specialists in foreign intrusions, U.S. Air Force personnel, and the city of San Francisco police got together to compare similarities between the person who had penetrated Area 51 and The Masked Wonder, who had interrupted crimes taking place in the city. After several days, the team determined that the persons were either one and the same, or one was a copycat. It was vaguely hinted that The Masked Wonder was none other than Mae Nishimura but the evidence was insufficient to form a conclusion. There were no further appearances of The Masked Wonder reported to authorities.