Alien in Chief
Prologue and Chapter 1

Ah, to see the world, travel to exotic locations, and meet interesting people. Sounds great, doesn’t it?

Of course, most people get to plan their exotic trips and exciting vacations. I get yanked into mine, almost always against my will and often through literally being dragged there by powerful forces unknown to man. Well, OK, known to some men, and women, too. Hey, can’t blame a girl for adding a little drama.

Anyway, vacations are a little different when you’re seeing new solar systems, traveling to exotic planets, and meeting lots of interesting aliens, many of whom are trying to kill you. Well, of course, as I look at my life over the past six years or so, that just kind of sounds like business as usual.

Oh, it’s not all negative, though. I’ve gotten to save the world so many times I’ve lost count. Saved the galaxy at least once. Saved other solar systems, too. I’m just that kind of can-do girl.

And though discovering aliens were living on Earth came as a shock six years ago, nowadays it’s almost commonplace. Almost.

“My” aliens are all from Alpha Four in the Alpha Centauri solar system, and they’re all drop-dead gorgeous, super brainy, and come loaded with a lot of special talents including hyperspeed, faster regeneration, super strength, and then some. They really are all that and a Bag of Super Deluxe Just Like the Justice League and the X-Men Chips.

Other aliens seem split between the Friends of Earth or Want To Destroy All Other Life Forms factions. So far, we and the Friends of Earth side have been doing okay, despite the fact that Earth itself has a plethora of cackling evil geniuses, multinational crime lords, and cuckoo megalomaniacs. We could export them, we have so many.

Not that I am for one minute suggesting we should. We have enough problems out there, why give our enemies a chance to gang up on us? I mean, more than they already do.

One of those evil geniuses in particular is the proverbial thorn in our sides: The Mastermind. Someone we all trusted. Someone we all wanted to eliminate with extreme prejudice. And someone who—until we can find all his strongholds, and all his plans, and all his cohorts, and make sure that he doesn’t have some awful doomsday plot or three that will activate if he dies suddenly—we cannot touch.

I’d thought I’d have taken him down a year ago, but the cosmos had other plans and, instead, we got to avert a gigantic system-wide civil war over in Alpha Centauri while also stopping yet another huge invasion of Earth. We did get some cool parting gifts in the bargain, including two clones of former enemies who are now on our side, plus some alien pigdogs and foxcats. I’m in the minority in thinking these made everything else worthwhile, but some people just can’t see the roses for the trees. Or some such.

We also made a lot of new alien friends. Many of whom want to visit Earth. Because, to them, Earth is that exotic tropical island way out in the middle of nowhere where a person can just relax and get away from it all.

Yeah, I know, right? They’re thinking they’re going to waste away in “Margaritaville”, but we’re a whole lot more like “Welcome to the Jungle”. After all, there’s a reason it took Axl Rose twenty years to write “Chinese Democracy”. And a classified reason for why it had to suck. But I digress . . .

Chapter 1

“Mommy, why is that car floating?”

For most mothers, the answer would be “special effects” or “just watch the movie, honey.” For me, it required a different explanation.

“Ah, Jamie, well . . . I think it’s because your little brother, um, wants it to. Charlie? Charlie, honey, put the car down, please. Now.”

Thankfully, the car in question was one of the toy cars that my son was far too young to play with. That didn’t stop him from wanting them, however. And, because he wanted them, well . . . Charlie took them. By making them come to him.

In the past years I’ve gone through so many changes that you’d think change would be commonplace, something I didn’t even think twice about.

You’d be wrong.

Becoming an alien superbeing exterminator? Handled like a boss. Becoming the Ambassador for an alien principality? So four years ago. Being the wife of a still-unwilling but going to do his best for his people and country politician? Got it covered. Finding that the Mastermind of the majority of our problems on Earth was a good friend? Still plotting the revenge. Swapping places with another me and visiting another universe? Check. Averting a whole solar system’s civil war? Double check.

But none of these changes prepared me for my biggest battle.

Being the mother of two.

Two alien hybrid children with, oh, shall we say, unusual abilities. Don’t get me wrong—I love my kids. They’re great and, frankly, I have tons of help, a super supportive husband, totally there parents and in-laws, and a plethora of Secret Service agents following us everywhere. I mean, I have no right to complain at all.

I just have to say that, sometimes it felt like averting an alien civil war was a lot easier than parenting. Times like right now, for instance.

My daughter Jamie of course knew why the toy car was floating. She was just asking so that she could point out that her little brother was doing something I didn’t want him to in a way that might mean she wasn’t a tattletale.

Of course, since Charlie’s birth six months ago, we’d actually needed Jamie’s tattling, because Charlie’s very unusual talent had manifested at birth.

Being the family of the current Vice President of the United States meant that we were under microscopic scrutiny. Seeing as my husband, Jeff, was also an alien whose parents and family were originally from Alpha Four of the Alpha Centauri system meant we were under scrutiny at subatomic levels.

The A-Cs, as they called themselves on Earth, were religious refugees when they came in the 1960s. And they’d integrated into the world, sort of, and stayed hidden, almost completely, as citizens of the United States first and the world second. Now, thanks to a just-barely-foiled alien invasion from four years ago, the entire world knew that aliens were real, and that the best looking ones in the galaxy had chosen to live with us.

Perks aside, our A-Cs were here to protect and serve. Could not say the same for at least half of the alien races out there we’d encountered so far.

The A-Cs had two hearts and, as such, this gave them faster regeneration, hyperspeed, and super-strength. Some of them also had special talents, like Jeff, who was the strongest empath in, most likely, the galaxy. Besides the empaths, there were imageers, who could manipulate any images, static or live or whatever, dream readers, and troubadours, who were the actors and public speakers of the bunch.

All female hybrid children, of which we still didn’t have all that many, were all especially talented, with skills far surpassing the A-C norm. But before now, no hybrid boys had exhibited exceptional talent. They’d gotten normal talents, or none at all – the only exceptions were those children who were the progeny of Ronald Yates. For whatever reason, the newest crop of male hybrid kids were all talented in some ways, but nothing like Charlie. Because until now, telekinesis hadn’t been an A-C trait.

I’d gotten pregnant on a world where telepathy and telekinesis were normal, though, which was the only explanation we had had for Charlie’s abilities. Psychic osmosis? I’m at a point where nothing surprises me, so yeah, maybe.

You’d think that, with all the other things the A-Cs could do, Charlie being telekinetic would be no big to anyone in the A-C community.

And you would be wrong.

The car was still floating, and now it had company. “Charlie, put the cars down, please and thank you.” He grinned at me—he totally had his father’s smile—and yet the cars continued to fly away from the other kids in the American Centaurion Embassy Daycare Center and fly right to Charlie. “All the cars down, please, Charlie. Now.”

Counted to ten. Listened to the music while I did so—my rule was that music needed to be happening as much as possible wherever I was, inside the Embassy and in whatever car I was in in particular.

Other people’s rule were that the music in the daycare center couldn’t be hard rock or be loaded with suggestive lyrics because others were far more into censorship and keeping cool things from kids than I was.

But I still managed to get good music of all eras piped in for the little ones, because the term “hard rock” was subjective and complex lyrics helped young minds to grow and learn. Jethro Tull had just finished “War Child” and Paul McCartney and Wings were now singing “Children, Children”. And cars were still flying. It was time to channel my mother.

“Charles Maxwell Martini, you return those cars and put them right down this instant, young man.”

No more grinning from my son, but the cars zoomed back to the kids who’d been playing with them and landed nicely. One for the win column.

Denise Lewis, whose husband was my mother’s right-hand man in the Presidential Terrorism Control Unit and our Embassy’s Defense Attaché, smiled at me. “Good job, Kitty.”

Managed not to say that Jamie hadn’t been this much work. She had been, she’d just been different.

Was saved from having to respond in any way by Kyle Constantine and Len Parker sticking their heads in. I’d met them in Vegas when they were still playing football for USC and they’d helped me out in a big way. They could have both gone pro, but instead they joined the C.I.A. right after they graduated. Len had been assigned as my driver and Kyle as my bodyguard, and both had done a great job.

But right before some of us took a trip to the Alpha Centauri system to avert a variety of civil wars, evil plots, and yet another alien invasion, Kyle had been put in charge of the Second Best Lady’s Cause.

Actually, I still had no idea what my official title was as the wife of the VP. No one around seemed to know, or care. I’d searched the papers for clues, but stories written about me tended to focus on all the madness that surrounded us on a daily basis, with adjectives tending more towards “outspoken”, “blunt”, and “trigger-happy”.

Anyway, a politician who’d been aligned with all of our enemies during the presidential campaign that had put Senator Vincent Armstrong into the White House, dragging Jeff along kicking and screaming, had somehow managed to become our ally. The slipperiness of political bedfellows and changing alliances never ceased to amaze me. It truly made fighting alien invasions, mad super-geniuses, and crazed megalomaniacs seem like such clean work.

“Kitty, Gideon Cleary’s here,” Kyle said. Speaking of the devil I’d just been thinking about. “We need to brainstorm the next ad campaign.”

Mommy Time was over. Time to get back in the saddle and handle grown-up things.

“And,” Len added, “we have news, too. News you’re not going to like.”

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