“Would you like to be a hero on this Earth?” he suggested.
“I thought I already was, to some degree. At least, Daphne thinks so,” I ventured.
“Well, I mean a national hero,” he amended.
“And just what would I have to do to attain this vaulted position?” I dubiously inquired.
“Ever the cynic, Mr. Hager?” he submitted.
“Yes, Mr. Ray,” I replied. “Now what is it you want me to do?” I demanded.
“Mr. Hager, I don’t know if you are in a state of mind to ponder what I propose with an unbiased sentiment,” he judged.
“You know, you are probably right,” I admitted. “I don’t care about any further hero status. But I’m going to read between the lines and guess you want me to perform some deed for you and, if I do, then you will allow me to return to my universe,” I offered.
Kann Mer Ray smiled from ear to ear. “I see we understand each other, Mr. Hager,” he granted.
“Well, the next question is, if I don’t perform your deed, what happens?” I pushed.
The alien just shrugged his shoulders. That really hit my hot button. I pulled a Colt, pointed it at him, and through gritted teeth said, ”Listen, you shanghaiing puke, you better answer me or, so help me, your abducting days are over.”
He laughed, which infuriated me to the breaking point. I cocked the hammer. He moved his right hand, and I saw a harness hanging on a nail on a wooden beam come flying at me. It hit me full in the face and I fell backwards. My head must have hit the ground because the next thing I saw was stars.
I awoke with someone touching my head. It hurt to open my eyes, but squinting against the light, I barely opened them and recognized San Cirr Ray. I gasped, “Oh, no. Not again. Are you here to further torture me?”
She giggled. I realized that she had my head in her lap and had been dabbing my head with a wet cloth. I tried to rise, but my head throbbed so much with pain I collapsed back into her lap.
“Don’t move, Mr. Hager. Give the medicinal salve a chance to complete the fusing,” she requested.
“Fusing? What do mean, fusing?” I demanded.
“You suffered a fractured skull when your head hit the floor. I applied a salve that is in the process of fusing the fracture and eliminating any brain damage.”
I sighed. “I guess I should thank you for your kindness.”
She giggled and then quickly stole a kiss. I was too hurt, tired, and despondent to protest. Then she ventured, “Master Kann has declared that I should be the only liaison between you and us. He feels that you harbor too much anger toward him.”
“He got that right,” I declared.