Even though the human sector seemed unnecessarily spacious to the locals, the humans considered it to be practically a slum. Their houses were little box houses, and even an old woman with arthritis could throw a rock and hit the neighbor’s house. Still, they tried to be grateful. The older ones remembered Planet of the Apes and decided they were lucky not to be pets, slaves, or lunch.
It took them a little while to get the hang of the communication technology, but now they were quite adept at it. Long before the police arrived at the convent, every human in this sector knew that Sr. Evangeline was dead. Not one gave any indication of sadness, and the children who went to the Catholic school seemed to be a little bit more relaxed this morning, now that they didn’t have to worry about having a substitute teacher – or at least that one.
Kellianne Nakimoto heard a knock on the door shortly after her children left for school. She was a little stunned at first to see what looked like giant green Muslims at her door. At first she thought she was having a flashback to the Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons of her youth. Then one addressed her in a kind of high-pitched musical version of English, and she realized that these were the local police.
Afterwards, of course, everyone wanted to hear from Kellianne, Gita Argyoswami, and Letitia Loomis, so they gathered at Kellianne’s house. Kellianne wasn’t particularly famous for being politically correct, or even sensitive. Still, her friends were shocked to discover that it never occured to her to cover her head when the visitors arrived. “I’m a Catholic, for pete’s sake! We don’t even cover our heads at Mass any more!”
“Well, if Sr. Evangeline had her way, we would! She would have us…” Gita was elbowed by Letitia before she could finish.
“Sister Avenging Angel is dead now. You gotta speak nice of the dead, especially nuns.” Letitia sounded a bit like the deceased herself, and her friends weren’t quite sure if she was joking or not.
“But who do you think did it?” Kellianne asked as she poured the coffee for her friends. Well, it wasn’t quite coffee, but they called it that anyway. They ate the cookies Letitia brought, which were about as close to American cookies as the coffee was to coffee.
“Watch,” said Gita. “It’ll be like Murder On The Orient Express.”
Another neighbor spoke up. “You mean to tell me that you think they all did it?”
“Well, are you saying that in this whole God-forsaken place, only one person had a motive to kill her? C’mon! She drove everyone nuts. To meet her was to have a motive to harm her!”
“They are scary, though,” Letitia added quietly, and everyone knew she wasn’t talking about the nuns.
“Remember all those silly books and movies about little green men? How come these people aren’t little? I swear, I’ll never get used to this!” Kellianne took another gulp of her beverage. “Letitia, your kids go to their school. What’s that like?”
“They’re too young to have known any place else, so it’s normal to them. Besides, it wouldn’t be any different on Earth.”
“What do you mean?” asked Gita.
“Well, sure my kids stand out in a class of green kids, but if we stayed where we were living when we got married, my kids would’ve stood out in a class of white kids just as much. Here, if they’re being called derrogatory names, we don’t know what they are or what they mean. They both speak their language, though, so that helps.”
“I still can’t believe you sent your kids to an alien day care. Their kids are huge, and so … different.”
“We’re the aliens, Kellianne. We’re the ones who are different.”