Ping Pong Destiny

This was inspired by a couple friends who decided to play a version of ping pong called T-Rex pong, which gave me the image of actual T-Rexes (T-Reges?) playing ping pong. However, I wanted a premise for that to happen, and the only one I could think of was aliens. So I hope you all enjoy the ridiculousness of this story.

They came from Mars. Well, not really, but that was where Earth’s scientists had first picked up signals of alien activity, and the aliens had never specified where they originated from anyway. It was sufficient to say they came suddenly and without warning, for the scientists only figured out what the signals they had dismissed after the aliens first appeared in the sky.

Their ships were enormous, and they were like flying saucers, only with giant thrusters on all sides. You know, realistic space ships. The largest concentrations were over the major cities of the world: Johannesburg, Cardiff, London, Tokyo, New York, Washington DC, and a small neighborhood in suburban Iowa.

Now, a boy named Pete lived in this small neighborhood of suburban Iowa, along with his three friends: Jon, Carl, and Susan. The four of them were just leaving from school as the alien spaceships appeared overhead.

“Man,” said Susan. “Why couldn’t they have showed up eight hours ago? Then we wouldn’t have had to go to school today.”

“Maybe they’re good aliens, and they want to make sure everyone gets an education,” replied Pete.

“Oh, don’t say that. Every time the world thinks the aliens are good, they’re bad; every time the world thinks they’re bad, they’re good. Honestly, don’t you know science fiction?”

Pete shrugged. The four of them got into Carl’s car as the spaceships hovered motionlessly above. They all gathered around the television when they got home, as the news stations reported on the developments of the UN and their attempts to negotiate with the aliens. After about an hour of attempted communication, one of the alien ships over New York descended and a long ramp was lowered. An alien stood on the ramp, and spoke.

“People of Earth!” said the alien. “After much consideration and after seeing your response to our arrival, we have decided to take over this naïve little planet. Have a nice day!”

The ramp refolded and the ship ascended. Giant lasers emerged from the underbellies of the flying saucers, and opened fire on the diplomats and the city. Outside, Pete could hear the sudden screams as the aliens began to attack his own town. He and his friends dashed out, to see the ships blasting at random on the town, though some of the ships had metal chains that descended and snatched people and cows up into their alien bellies.

“Let’s get out of here!” said Carl, running to his car. The others quickly followed suit, and the four of them quickly drove onto the road and toward the outskirts of town so that they could escape. As they went, Pete looked behind them to see that one of the spaceships was following them. It shot a blast overhead that destroyed a tree, and continued to fire on them, missing with every shot.

“Guys!” said Pete suddenly. “I think we’re in its blind spot! Stop the car!”

“No way, man!” replied Carl.

“We’ll jump out before it hits us! The car might just be able to beat it, since it’s flying so low.”

Carl frowned. “Alright, but you owe me a car.”

He slammed the brake and twisted out the key, and the four of them leapt out of the car, just as the spaceship sailed headlong into it, and it exploded. Pete flew back at the force of it, landing several yards back. But he wasn’t seriously injured. Standing up, though, he saw that the spaceship wasn’t the only thing crippled.

Carl and Jon lay on the ground, shrapnel piercing them. Pete ran over to them, sobbing as he realized that there was no way his friends were going to make it.

“Hey, Pete,” said Carl as Pete knelt beside him. “I don’t think I’m going to make it.”

“Man, this is stupid,” added Jon from several feet away. “I didn’t even get a line so far in this whole thing.”

And then they died, their eyes closed and their pulses nil. Pete curled over Carl, sobbing, until he felt a hand on his shoulder. Looking back, he saw it was Susan, who had a stern look on her face.

“Honestly, why do you care so much about them? They had, like, no character development. Let’s go check out the alien ship.”

There was a huge, smoking hole where the ship had hit the car. Inside, the bridge of the ship was in ruins, and the entire crew of six was dead. Pete approached the central pillar, where a video screen was fuzzing in grey and black. Suddenly, as he touched it, it became clear, displaying the face of one of the chief aliens.

“Congratulations,” he said. “For defeating one of our ships. Now, we could point out that we still have thousands of ships that could easily take over the planet, but that wouldn’t be as fun. Instead, we’ll challenge you to single combat – in a sense. We shall choose one of your Earth sports, and you must defeat us in it, in a round-robin style tournament. Summoning in three…two…one…”

Pete and Susan looked at each other in surprise, but then the world around them vanished, and they found themselves in a dark chamber, with blue lighting all the way around, like neon, only darker. There were several other people around him, or rather beings. Most were humans, but there was also a few other creatures, such as a tyrannosaurus rex and a living sculpture.

“What happened?” Pete asked of these two in particular.

“I’m a museum curator,” said the T-Rex. “A band of aliens barged in, resurrected some of the fossils, and then switched my mind with one of them.”

“Oh. Then what happened?”

The T-Rex patted its stomach, or rather, as close as it could get to its stomach.

“I only came to life a little while ago,” said the statue. “When I asked them how this had been achieved, they mentioned something called a Bee-Yes particle. Then, seeing the suffering about me, I decided to stop them. Then I came here.”

“Ah, yes. The Bee-Yes particle. One of the most powerful in the universe,” said a voice. Out of the shadows stepped two aliens, one holding a large plastic bowl full of pieces of paper. “Now I shall decide the fate of the games!”

The lead alien plunged his hand into the bowl and brought up a slip.

“Basketball? Boring. That’s been done before.” He tried again.

“Tennis? We beat the blancmanges at that just last year in the Tennis Universal Championship. That sport is boring.”

“Ah, here we are! Table tennis, or, as you silly humans call it, ping pong! Excellent! Now meat your enemies!”

Out of the shadows stepped several more aliens, one for each of the assembled defenders of Earth. They paired up, and suddenly the room was filled with light, and a single ping pong table was revealed in the center of the room, along with paddles and a ball.

The games were absolutely intense. Each, or rather most, were very close. They went back and forth, keeping the total scores of the races tied. Some of the humans did very well, but others, like the T-Rex and the statue, did very poorly. It was awful to see the T-Rex’s small arms swinging at the ball, missing every single time.

Susan and Pete were last. Susan lost to her alien, bringing the score tied again. Now it was Pete’s turn, and his game would decide the fate of the world.

“Do you really think you can do this?” Susan asked him.

“Of course. I’m the underdog. I’m the hero of the story. Susan, I’m going to win. For Carl.” He took up the paddle and faced his opponent, who had the first serve. And then the game began.

It was awful. Pete could never hit the ball – he was even worse than the T-Rex, who had on at least some occasions managed to score when he had the serve. But Pete couldn’t even do that now. Five, ten, fifteen points went by, and then it was game point, twenty for the alien. Pete held the ball in his hand, between his fingers, and knew that he wasn’t playing just for Carl, or at all for Carl, who was dead now. No, he was playing for the freedom of the human race, for hope, for democracy. There was no way he could lose now.

And then he served, and scored. The next points came like lightning, as he climbed back up. At last, he had twenty as well. The room grew tense as every eye watched Pete’s alien opponent serve the ball, and it hit the net. Pete had won. The Defenders of the Earth cheered.

The alien chief came over to Pete, patting him on the back.

“Good job. You beat us.”

“Aren’t you going to kill us anyway?”

“Nah. We never meant to destroy the planet, we’ve just been messing with you all. Watch.”

The alien took Pete to a window, where he could see the entire earth. Another ship lay in lower orbit, though this one was different from the others.

“Watch the power of Bee-Yes and Deus-X, the two most powerful particles in the universe.”

The other ship blasted down a white beam of light at the planet, and the white spread all over, covering the earth. After a few minutes, it subsided, and the earth was as it had been before the aliens had arrived.

After, the aliens put them back in their rightful places, before heading back to the stars. Pete and Susan totally hooked up, got married, had children that were exactly like them, and also a dog. And they lived happily ever after, except for when their children developed angst as teenagers. The end.

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One thought on “Ping Pong Destiny

  1. Hmmm. I like the general tone of it, and of course the campiness. I would actually encourage you to play up stereotypical-ness of it further. Sci-fi, like Fantasy, has so many overused devices and mechanisms that you could really turn this into even more of a farce. [I really liked the part where Susan told Pete to forget about his dead friends because they had no character development anyway.] I think I would also like to know what the aliens look like, and have them be, again, stereotypical, which would open them up to mockery by the people of Earth i.e. Pete could taunt them during his Ping-Pong match.
    Nicely done.

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