The twin suns were setting, leaving a darkening red mist over the sprawling city.  From my window in the hyper skyscraper I could see the floating car traffic hurtling above the bustling sidewalks.  The glass of the nearby buildings glittered like gems, dazzling my eye stalks as if I was in a dream.  I felt worn out like a used Kyrilomine wrapper.  I thought of going home but the sensor at the door beeped, indicating a client had come into the office anteroom.  I ambled back to the desk, sat on the chair, and hit the button to allow the connecting portal to open.

A strange creature strode in.  She or he or it was a sad specimen with only four appendages, one pair used for mobilization, the other for grasping.  The hyper-chip in my cortex connected to the Encyclopedia Universal and fed the information directly into my memory glands.  Even before she spoke, I knew she was a female hominid from the Sol system.  With that detail in place I could look past her alien features and see a cascading wave of blonde hair, two brown visualization orbs, an opening smeared with a red, waxy substance, and hips that were wide enough for my nesting table.  Her dress, all shimmering silver, fitted the contours of her body well.  Of course I really wasn’t the sort of fellow who was into cross-species mating, but still the old copulating sac did give a minute twitch.

“Are you Detective Balanxorp?”she asked.  Her voice was higher than the female of my species.  She spoke the Galactic Trade language stiffly as if she had learned it from a primitive memory impression chip.

“Yes I am,” I said with an easy cosmopolitan drawl that I used for off-world creatures.  “What can I help you with?”

“I am looking for my father.  He has gone missing.”

With a free tentacle, I motioned for her to take a seat in front of my desk.  When she found a comfortable perch on the arch of relaxation, I reached into the desk and pulled out a sapphire bottle of off-world Muuze, the finest alcohol that a poor detective such as myself could afford.

“Would you care for a snort?” I asked.

She shook her head, giving me a look that I took to mean distaste.  It’s been my experience that some species want to get straight to business before relaxing with a suitable beverage.  It’s a damn shame, since communications when slightly intoxicated can lead to pleasant results.

After pouring myself a drink, I carefully put the bottle away.  I took a small sip  and said, “Talk to me.”

“My name is Elizabeth.  My father and I are originally from Earth.  He and I were taken off the planet years ago, back when I was just a child.” She made a small gesture with her grasping-appendage, which I couldn’t fathom.

“Abduction?” I asked, already knowing the answer.  Some citizens of this galaxy had a thing for exploring alien anal cavities, supposedly in the name of science.  It was a practice that thankfully was dying out, thanks to the work of ARSE, the Alien Rectal Safety Enquiry.

“Yes,” she replied smoothly.

“And your father’s name?”

“Dr. Edward Tinsdale.”

In a microsecond, the Encyclopedia Universal returned the biographical data I requested.  It took me another moment to digest the information, quickly sorting through the man’s education, age, and background.

“The famous cryptid researcher?” I finally asked even though I already knew the answer.

“The very same,” Elizabeth said with obvious pride.  “My father has been all over the galaxy researching legendary monsters.  He’s had some success, like proving the Slithering Eels of Sexylvania were just a hoax.  But he did prove that Tulpa, the Internet Troll, was real.  I’m afraid the fame went to his head.  He returned to our home planet Earth to find the most dangerous cryptid of all, STEVE SMITH.  He wanted to prove to everyone that the Rapesquatch was real.”

I knew already that she was from the Sol system, but I directed my network connection to look up some information on Earth.  A top-level warning flashed painfully across my neurons.  It turned out that this planet was under active quarantine, always guarded by a Trade Federation battleship against anyone from exiting the solar system.  Earth was apparently home to three Galactic outlaws: SugarFree, Warty, and STEVE SMITH.

Expanding the search, I downloaded the thumbnail sketches of these criminals:

SugarFree: the nom de plume of a writer who was convicted in absentia in the Federation Galactic Court, for his non-fiction musings of popular politicians.  He was also guilty by association for being the official Chronicler of Warty.

Warty: Powerlifter, eternal enemy of the galactic state, and owner of most efficient “workout” dungeon on the planet.  Considered by many to be the most dangerous creature in the 7th Arm of the Milky Way Galaxy.  Warty is the only known survivor of being attached to the infamous Doomcock of Doom; and doing the Deathsquat of Death, which caused the rings of Saturn, a huge gas planet in the Sol system, to form.  His illegal Timesuit allowed movement in all four dimensions, which, in this case, made the Federation battleship useless.

Pausing momentarily before downloading the next entry, I wondered why the Federation would go through all the expense of leaving a warship in orbit around a third-rate backwater of a planetary system.  The answer was readily ap-parent once my neurons, which revolted in horror, processed the next entry.

STEVE SMITH: An ancient, immortal Rapesquatch of unknown origin.  Said to have been sent back in time and trapped on the planet Earth during its early formation, this cryptid has sexually conquered most of the species there.  The only safe creatures are the ones that can fly or live in seas.  STEVE SMITH only lives to rape and rapes to live.  One galactic physicist, though considered a crank, thought the very formation of the universe, the Big Bang, was actually the result of this Rapesquatch penetrating a white hole making it explode.  Though only mythical, the secret, ancient transcripts from the Federation archives show the council had taken the threat of this Rapesquatch seriously enough to post a Level-A Star Battleship in the Sol System.

I inwardly shuddered, trying with difficulty to hide my disgust.  If STEVE SMITH escaped, then my very own rectal cavity could be in peril, not to mention my other orifices.  The very tightness of the Universe was at stake.

With an expression that I took as expectation, she asked, “Well, Mr. Balanxorp, will you help me find my father?”

My tentacles quivered in agitation.  I took another sip of my drink in a failed attempt to quiet my nerves. I blurted out,  “If your father has been taken by STEVE SMITH, then nothing can save him.  There is nothing I can do!”

Her eyes were misting with some liquid substance.  “Please!”

“This meeting is at an end.”  I slammed the desk to punctuate my point.  “You will have to leave as I have some pressing business to attend elsewhere.”

The creature named Elizabeth ran out the room, making some untranslatable noises.  I hoped I had seen the last of her.  Little did I know this was the very beginning…

The End. Or is it?