- Serial Killers: The Seven Invasions of Earth in the 21st Century Part 1 by David Berger
- Serial Killers: The Seven Invasions of Earth in the 21st Century Part 2 by David Berger
- Serial Killers: The Seven Invasions of Earth in the 21st Century Part 3 by David Berger
- Serial Killers: The Seven Invasions of Earth in the 21st Century Part 4 by David Berger
Invasion IV – The BEMS
The briefest of all invasions, the BEMS (short for “Bug Eyed Monsters”: a traditional term) appeared at the second convention of the Universal, National, International, Conclave of Real Nerds (UNICORN) in 2065 in Madison, Wisconsin.
Even given the number of people at the convention engaged in cosplay, it took only a few hours before many participants noticed a number of their fellows wearing unusual, dark blue costumes, with segmented arms and legs and huge masks covering their entire heads. These masks featured gaping, toothless mouths, a fine set of antennae, and huge, bulging, incredibly realistic insectile eyes. The eyes gave them their names. Each of the BEMS was accompanied by a tall, beautiful blonde woman in lacey lingerie and high heels, wearing a bubble-like space helmet and a space suit that seemed to be made of cellophane. There were twenty-six BEMS and twenty-six blondes.
During the course of the UNICORN, the BEMS were both sociable and popular although they declined to speak. There are thousands of videos, selfies and stills of the BEMS and their blonde companions, posing arm in arm with participants. Many rumors spread as to who the BEMS were: the cast of a soon-to-be-released sci-fi movie; members of some strange cult of billionaires; or enemies of the Raelians. It was discovered that the BEMS had an entire floor in the hotel that was hosting the convention. By the end of the first night of UNICORN, this collection of rooms, which became a giant suite, was the location for a continuous party, providing seemingly endless food and drink. At all hours, attendees at the convention could be found enjoying themselves and attempting to chat with the BEMS, who inevitably responded with friendly nods. Many of the participants camped out in the suite for the duration.
Apparently, the BEMS had anticipated their popularity. They came equipped with BEM masks, small versions of their own heads that could fit over one’s head and which were given away free. Soon, hundreds of convention goers, especially youngsters, were wearing these masks both in the convention hotel and out in the streets and public places of Madison. Also available free were BEM bobble heads, BEM coloring books, BEM action figures, and a full set of trading cards, one hundred and four in all, showing the BEMS, four pictures of each, in various poses, with fanciful names: Awful Abner, Bang-up Bill, Cool Charlie, etc., down to Zealous Zeke.
In the closing hours of UNICORN, the BEMS, all twenty-six of them, gathered in a circle in the center of the convention hall, with their blondes. A goodly section of the crowd, sensing that something was about to happen, gathered round them. The BEMS chanted together in an unknown language for several minutes, while pumping their segmented arms up and down and stamping their feet. This was suddenly followed by a great, roaring cheer, which was taken up by the crowd. Immediately after, the BEMS and their women left the hotel. A silver-colored, windowless vehicle, roughly the size of a bus, with sixteen soft tires, came rolling up the hotel driveway, and the BEMS and the escorts entered. The vehicle rolled away and vanished from sight.
The twenty-six women were let out, each still in her spacesuit and lingerie at the hotel in Madison where twenty-six rooms had been occupied by the lovelies since they day they had arrived in the city. Each night they had been taken back there from the convention hotel around midnight and picked up in the morning in their costumes, both ways by twenty-six limousines. The BEMS remained at the UNICORN hotel the entire time seemingly not sleeping at all.
It turned out that the blonde ladies had been hired as a group from a talent agency in Las Vegas. They had been flown to Madison in a chartered jet, where they found their rooms in their hotel waiting for them, along with their costumes, which they thought to be hilarious. They were provided with little illustrated booklets explaining their roles as escorts to the BEMS. They were questioned for several days by the FBI, CIA and other security agencies. They knew nothing of the BEMS, who apparently never spoke, but who were invariably kind and polite, only insisting, nonverbally, that the ladies stay with them when they were in the convention hotel.
As to the eight-wheeled silver vehicle that picked the BEMS and their ladies, it was determined that it made a stop a few blocks from the second hotel, where the BEMS picked up twenty-six pizzas, mixed plain, pepperoni and anchovies. And twenty-six liters of Diet Coke. Later, it was spotted several times on highways leading north out of Madison. The final time the vehicle was seen, it was leaving a local road onto a dirt track leading into a state forest, fifty kilometers from the city. The vehicle and its passengers were never seen again.
One of the items given away by the BEMS was a comic book alleging that the origin of the BEMS was a planet circling a star not far from Earth. The BEMS in the comic were depicted as happy tourists on vacation. Their amusement with common human objects is depicted. Their favorite thing seemed to be a hand-operated eggbeater. Their method of reaching Earth is not depicted.
It’s hoped that the BEMS may visit UNICORN again someday.
David Berger is an old guy from Brooklyn, now living in Manhattan with his wife of 25 years: the best jazz singer in NYC. He is a father and grandfather. He has been, among other things, a case worker, construction worker, letter carrier, high school and ESL teacher, a legal proofreader and a union organizer. Loves life, his wife and the world. Hopes to help the latter escape destruction.
David has been published by Verso with his graphic history of American bohemia: ‘Bohemians’, co-written by Paul Buhle and by DRABBLE for his works ‘Invisible Dude’and ‘Statuary’. His story, Ghoul Days, features in The Sirens Call ezine, Issue 45.