Dickie August- Baseball Player -Chapter 9 - I Didn’t Sign up for This.

Dickie frowned. “How would I help? What would I do?”

Martha moved around as she spoke. The auction house was in an old mill building and the floor creaked as she walked over certain sections. “You were selected to be a member of the EPT (Earth Protection Team).”

“And what does that mean? What does the Earth Protection Group do?” Questioned Dickie.

“Earth Protection Team.” Corrected Martha.

“And you would help fight off Lucy and the other aliens from planet Kelgarz. Right now the war is limited as there are a few hundred of them here. But, at some point, many thousands will invade and we need an army here on earth to fight them.”

Dickie scratched his right ear. “And playing professional baseball is my cover?”

“Right. Most people would not suspect someone who plays professional baseball as a member of the EPT.”

Cass spoke up. “Other than Lucy. She seems to have a pretty good idea.”

Martha finally addressed Cass. “Very true and how did that happen? I don’t know.”

“So what do we do about her?” Injected Dickie.

Martha returned to the chair. “It’s very simple. You must kill her before she kills you.”

“Dude…Kill Did you say the word kill?” Said Cass.

Martha again raised her voice. “You boys have the Alet, use its power.”

“But Lucy has one as well. I saw it when I was at her apartment. She said it was going to someone else and she intercepted it. That it came from you.”

“Don’t believe it.” Doubted Martha. It might have looked like one, but it wasn’t. If she had an actual Alet, you two would be dead right now.”

“Dead! Did you say Dead?” Coughed up Cass.

“Listen to me.” Martha then stood again. “You both need to return to your team and pay attention to your surroundings. When Lucy shows her face again, and she will, make sure you take her out.”

“Does she have any special powers that I need to be worried about?’ Asked Dickie. “Yeah – she has many things she can do. But, you have the Alet – and you have the edge. Just don’t lose it – please.”

“I don’t know Martha, I never signed-up for this type of thing.” Pleaded Dickie.

“What are your choices?” Martha spoke faster. “Don’t help and then stand around and watch when you lose your home, your country and your planet.”

Dickie got real quiet real fast.

“Just like the founding fathers of your country, you can make a difference, Dickie. But, you need to stand up now and fight. This is the time to act.” Martha pushed.

Dickie took a deep breath.

“Martha, I’m going to accept your offer and help you defeat these aliens. Let’s shake on it.” Dickie stood and offered to shake Martha’s hand.

Martha did not immediately accept Dickie’s handshake. “There is one change that needs to be made to the existing setup.”

Dickie and Cass waited for her to continue.

“Cass needs to quit the team. It should only be you, Dickie.”

Dickie rested his head in to the palm of his right hand for a few seconds before speaking. “I don’t understand. He is good on the team and the team is winning with him.”

“We can’t take the chance that you don’t have possession of the Alet when you need it.”

Cass jumped in. “Can’t you just give me one too? I’m happy to help defend the earth, or whatever else you need done.”

Martha paced around the floor mumbling to herself before she returned to the boys in about 5 minutes. “Very well Ass, I will give you one.”

Dickie laughed. “It’s Cass, Martha.”

“What? Oh- yes- whatever.” Martha then exited the room.

She later returned with another Alet and handed it to Cass while raising her voice. “Don’t make me regret this!”

Cass bowed his head and proudly took the Alet. He studied it while Dickie spoke.

“Other than Lucy, who else should we be worried about?”

“Hard to say.” Martha sat back down. “There will be others that get in the way. I’m sorry to get you involved – but, as I said, you were especially selected as someone who might be a big help to your people and to our people.”

Dickie let out a brief smile and basked in the compliment. “Based on what?’

Martha quickly changed topics. “Oh – there is one thing you can do to prove if someone is an enemy and from the planet Kelgarz.”

Dickie and Cass sat up straight and focused on Martha’s next words.

“If someone rubs you the wrong way and you are not sure of their intentions – and you can try this with Lucy. They all have just four toes on their feet.”

Cass tried to process the information. “And how do we see that? Do we ask them nicely to remove their shoes? Or their socks and shoes?”

Dickie itched the right side of his face. “Yeah – sorry Martha, I don’t see how that really helps.”

“Maybe not!” Counted Martha. “But, it is at least something, right?’

Martha gathered the boys in the middle of the auction house. “It is time for you two to head back home.”

“Do we have any orders or a mission right now?” Asked Cass.

Dickie added. “Yeah- and is there anything the Alet can’t do?”

Martha stood in front of the boys and took their hands. “Just wait for additional information. For now, just go about your business and get the Kansas City Nine in the playoffs. As far as the Alet and its limitations – just one to note. You can’t get it wet.”

Dickie pulled his Alet out of his back pocket and held it up to the light. “Seriously? Well that just sucks. What would happen if…”

“So all Lucy needs to do is dump water on us.” Interrupted Cass. “And she wins?”

Martha took the Alet out of Dickie’s hand and held it in front of the boys. “Not just a little wet, but if it gets soaked, it will disintegrate. In other words, If you take the Alet and submerge it under water for about 5 seconds, it will implode. So, don’t let that happen.”

Both boys watched with open jaws.

“Um…implode?” Asked Dickie.

Cass then reacted. “Disintegrate?”

Martha let out a loud sigh. “Just don’t let it happen.”

Dickie took the Alet back from Martha. “Does Lucy, and the rest of them, know about this weakness?”

Martha shrugged her shoulders.

“One thing though…” Clarified Martha. “Don’t keep them in your back pockets any more. Some might be looking for it there and Lucy thinks she knows where it is.”

Dickie agreed. “Yeah- that is true. Now that we each have our own, and don’t have to share it between innings, we can put it somewhere more permanent.”

The boys bid Martha farewell and used the Alet to transport back to their Kansas City apartment. It was very late and both were ready for bed.

The next morning came fast and the boys arrived at the ballpark for the 4th game of the Boston series. They thought that they came up with an awesome hiding location for the Alets. They decided to use their socks as the instrument to hide them. They concluded that by doing this, they could keep the Alets on them at most times, if they were in a game or just relaxing at home. With their new assignments, to save the earth, they never knew when they might need to access the powers of the Alets.

After a quick workout the boys lumbered back to the clubhouse. Team Manager Barry Keeton approached the boys. “Guys, if we can win this one, we sweep Boston. This one is so Big!”

“Skip, if you need me for a couple innings tonight, I’m ready.” Offered Dickie.

“Really? I don’t want to push you. We don’t want any injuries.” Keeton explained. “But, can you spare 10 minutes now for me?”

Dickie agreed. “Sure – what do you need?”

“A.J. (Team General Manager A.J. Setters) asked me to have you chat with someone.”

“Oh- Okay. Who?”

Barry further explained. “I guess there was a situation yesterday with a member of the local media and team management…”

At that moment the clubhouse door opened and Lucy Grover charged in. “Thanks for speaking with me before the game, Dickie!”

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