One year later, Larry and Martha had a son named Steve. When Steve was six years old, Larry and Martha finally got married. Six years later, they had a daughter named Emily.
Monica and John spent those years searching for the reality engine. One of the places they explored was the catacombs in Paris, France
“I just thought of something,” Monica said. “We’ve travelled the world, looking for the reality engine.”
“What’s your point?” John asked.
“Has it ever occurred to anybody that maybe the Libertas government hid the reality engine in St. John’s?”
“Why would it be there?”
“Maybe my sister knows where it is, or maybe she’s hiding it. She is from Oberon.”
“That seems a bit too obvious.”
“Does it really?”
Larry and Martha were about to leave the house to celebrate their anniversary. They left Monica to babysit Steve and Emily.
“Steve is upstairs playing video games,” Martha said. “Just leave him alone, he’ll go to bed around 12:00. But put Emily to bed by 10:00. Oh, and I ordered a pizza. The delivery guy should be here any minute.”
“It’s only 6:00,” Monica said. “Aren’t you two leaving a bit too early?”
“We got a whole night planned.”
“Actually, I do,” Larry said. “I have a few surprises for Martha.”
“Have fun,” Monica said.
“Don’t worry. We will.”
“So, where are we going?” Martha asked as she and Larry walked to the car.
“You’ll see,” Larry said.
Larry drove through Eric Street.
“Do you remember that house?” Larry asked, pointing to an old house with white siding.
“How can I not?” Martha asked. “It’s where I got drunk and fell into your lap. Are we going to drop in?”
“No. Just taking a trip down memory lane.”
Larry then drove to a local restaurant.
“We haven’t been here in years,” Martha said. This is where you proposed.”
“It wasn’t very romantic though,” Larry said. “I got on one knee. But I was so nervous. My palms were sweaty, knees weak, arms were heavy.”
“I know. But you were so cute.”
“Larry and Martha went into the restaurant and they ordered the buffet. The song, Don’t Let Me Be The Last to Know, by Britney Spears came on the radio while Larry and Martha ate.
“Our wedding song,” Martha said.
“Yup,” Larry said. “Remember how I begged you to make this our wedding song?”
“Yes. Why was that?”
“Because I fell in love with you the moment you fell into my lap. Everybody knew except you.”
“So, you like drunken girls.”
“Too bad you didn’t get a hotel room. We could get drunk together without worrying about the kids killing each other.”
“Who says I didn’t?”
Martha’s face lit up like a lantern.
“Want to pay the bill and go now?” Martha asked.
Larry and Martha paid the bill, got into the car, and they headed to the hotel.
Larry and Martha had a lot to say while they were in the restaurant. But the car ride was very quiet. It was like they’ve run out of things to talk about.
“Do you still watch CNN?” Martha asked.
“Yes,” Larry said. “Why?”
“Just making conversation. What about Fox News?”
“Not really. Fox news is a biased conservative news organization. And this is coming from a conservative.”
“You don’t think CNN is biased?”
“Not as bad as Fox News. I wouldn’t be surprised if people accused Fox News of being a fake news organization someday.”
“Do you think people will accuse CNN of being a fake news organization?”
Once again, silence filled the car. Both Larry and Martha felt that the silence was both peaceful and awkward at the same time. During the silence, Martha had a lot on her mind. Larry and Martha used to have the time of their lives just talking for hours. But Martha couldn’t remember the last time she and Larry had fun just talking to each other, besides their time at the restaurant a few moments ago. Then again, Larry and Martha had busy lives. Martha was a teacher, and Larry worked as a web designer. All the while, they were raising two kids. So maybe this was normal.
Eventually, Larry chuckled.
“Who would be stupid enough to write a fake news story?” Larry asked.
“I have no idea,” Martha asked. “Anonymous bloggers?”
Meanwhile, Monica was on the computer, while Emily watched TV.
“Aunt Monica, I’m bored,” Emily said.
“I’ll play with you in two minutes,” Monica said.
Monica was reading a news blog.
The author of the blog wrote, “Allowing people to identify as whatever gender they want will result in totalitarianism.”
“People writes some crazy shit online,” Monica said to herself.
At that point, Monica decided to get off the computer and play with Emily.
Meanwhile, somewhere on Oberon, there was a tower. Inside the tower, on the top floor, Glacier and Clarence sat in a dark office, watching various news broadcasts from Earth. The office was as dark as a movie theater.
“It’s working, Clarence,” Glacier said. “For many years, we’ve filled Earth’s news with half-truths and whole lies, which influenced these Earthlings to create their ideologies. Earth has fought in two world wars because of these ideologies. So, it’s just a matter of time before World War 3 breaks out. When that war ends, Earth will be so weak; it will be easy to take it over. Want to know why?”
“Because they won’t have the weapons or the soldiers to fight us,” Clarence said.
“Why are we trying to take over Earth, when we haven’t even taken over Oberon yet?”
“Why focus on just one planet at a time?”
“Because we can’t work too efficiently if we spread ourselves too thin. Otherwise, we would have taken over Oberon by now.”
“Well, once we get a hold of the reality engine, we can take over the universe easily.”
“Then why bother with your current plan to take over Earth?”
“It’s a backup plan.”
“What’s our backup plan for taking over Oberon?”
“My God, why do you ask so many questions?”
“Why are your plans so convoluted? Why do you always find a reason to freak out at me almost every single day? For somebody named Glacier, you are so hot-headed.”
“No, I’m fucking not!”
Glacier’s words echoed throughout her office.
“You were saying?” Clarence asked.
“Shut-up,” Glacier said in a soft voice.
Back on Earth, Larry and Martha arrived at the hotel and they excitedly headed to their room as soon as they checked in.
Larry and Martha’s hotel room had a king-sized bed, a 52-by-92-inch TV, a desk, a mini-fridge, and a bathroom with a hot tub. The room was also very spacious as well.
“Why don’t you relax, while I slip into something more comfortable?” Martha asked.
Martha went to the bathroom, while Larry relaxed on the bed and watched the news. A few minutes later, Martha came out of the bathroom. She was wearing nothing by a bra and underwear. Both were the color teal.
“You really love that color, don’t you?” Larry asked.
“You don’t?” Martha asked. “Maybe I should do something about it.”
Martha turned around, facing away from Larry. She slowly took off her bra. Once Martha took it off, she held her bra to her side for about two seconds, and then she dropped it to the floor. Meanwhile, Larry unbuckled his belt.
Suddenly, Larry and Martha heard the fire alarm.
“Attention all occupants,” the voice over the fire alarm’s speaker said. “Please evacuate the building in a calm and orderly fashion. Do not use the elevator.”
As the fire alarm emitted a loud and continuous buzzing sound, Martha quickly put on a robe, while Larry put his belt back on. When Larry, Martha and all the guests made their way outside of the hotel, it was raining.
“Happy anniversary,” Larry said.
“Happy anniversary,” Martha said.
“This will be one anniversary I’ll always remember.”
Meanwhile, at Larry and Martha’s house, Monica put Emily to bed.
“Aunt Monica, can you tell me a story?” Emily asked as she crawled into bed.
“I’d love to,” Monica said. “Years ago, two little girls played in a field. While they were playing, they fell into a hole. When they came out the other side, they were lost in the woods. But after several hours, somebody found the two girls. That person called the police.”
“What did the police do?”
“The police took the girls to an orphanage. The girls liked it there. But they wanted to go home. The two girls never found their home. However two nice people adopted the two girls. And they lived long and happy lives.”
“That’s a nice story.”
“Thank, Emily. Good night.”
Monica kissed Emily on the head and she slowly closed the door as she left the room.
About a half-an-hour later, Larry and Martha returned home.
“How was your night?” Monica asked.
“Things were fine at first,” Martha said. “But shortly after we went to the hotel, the fire alarm went off. We ended up standing outside in the rain for a half-an-hour. We were so pissed off, we decided to check out early and get a refund.”
“How were the kids?”
“Great. I played with Emily and then I put her to bed, and Steve was upstairs playing video games.”
Actually, Steve spent the night on his computer, looking at porn. He managed to find a way to circumvent the parental block.
“That’s good,” Martha said. “Come on, I’ll give you a ride home.”
The next day, Martha called Monica at home.
“Did you Emily we’re from another planet?” Martha asked Monica over the phone.
“No,” Monica said. “I told a story about two girls who fell down a hole and they got lost. They were found and they were adopted.”
“I can’t believe you told her that story!”
“What’s the big deal?”
“You know, maybe you should you stay away from my kids.”
Martha hung up the phone. After taking a few deep breaths, Martha was about to go to the refrigerator.
“What was that about?” Larry asked.
“Larry!” Martha said. “You gave me a fright.”
“Sorry. You don’t want your sister to babysit because of a story?”
“Well, Emily lets her imagination run wild.”
“Yeah. She’s six years old. That’s normal. By that logic we shouldn’t read stories to Emily at all.”
“You don’t understand. When Monica was young, she used to believe that the both of us were from another planet. What if Monica tells Emily this and she believes it? Monica already told Emily a similar story.”
“I think you’re over thinking things.”
“You think I’m paranoid, don’t you?”
“Of course I do.”
Six years later…
Steve was seventeen years old, and Emily was twelve. Neither Larry nor Martha haven’t made any changes to the house in six years. However, they turned their basement into a bedroom. That’s because Larry’s father, Frank got kicked out of the only retirement home in town. So, Larry took him in.
Steve was only four months away from graduating high school. So he decided to get a part-time job so he could save up for college, although his father disapproved.
“Steve can’t get a job,” Larry said.
“Why not?” Martha asked.
“He can’t do the simplest things. Also, he needs to get a shave.”
“Steve is seventeen and he’ll be eighteen in a month. Stop treating him like he’s still a child.”
“I’ll stop treating him as a child as soon as he acts his age.”
“Steve is getting an after school job so he can save up for college. That’s pretty grown up, don’t you think?”
“But he won’t be able to keep a job.”
“How do you know that? Why don’t you give your son a chance?”
“Why do you treat Steve so harshly? You’re always yelling at Steve, intimidating him, and insulting him.”
“Well excuse me. When Steve goes out into the real world, everybody he’ll ever meet will treat him 10 times worse. I’m only preparing him for the real world.”
“Will you listen to yourself? You sound like a retard.”
“Hey, that’s an insult to the mentally ill.”
“You’re right, it is. Anyway, you treat Steve rather harshly and you ignore Emily.
“No I don’t.”
“When was the last time you talked to her?”
“You’re being foolish. I’m going to sleep.”
Meanwhile, Emily was already asleep. She had a dream where she was in the playground. She saw a tall girl towering over her. The tall girl grabbed Emily by the shirt. But Emily woke up before the girl could do anything. When Emily woke up, she couldn’t remember what the girl’s face looked like.