We watched on the news as the first spaceship from Drakon landed on our planet Earth. Little did we know how much there was left in store for us. In the next few months, Drakonians filled up on our planet. Drakonians were ugly, big green lizard-like creatures. They wore perfume that smelled good to them but it made us want to seriously puke into the sidewalks. They had black, glassy eyes which looked like they were made of obsidian. Whenever they were walking down the sidewalks, they would much rather shove us out of the way rather than make way for both of us to walk.
The Earth leaders arranged a meeting with the leaders of Drakon. Surprisingly, they spoke English which made it easy for us to communicate with them. They had come to play a game with the members of the earth. We had to produce a seven member squad within a year. The Earth leaders agreed saying that it was a good chance to bond with ‘our outdoor neighbors, but in fact, we all knew that they were too scared to go against the Drakonians. The members were elected through processes of elimination. Each country selected a representative, and all those representatives were further eliminated until there was a total of seven members left. These members made the Earth Team.
I was also selected to be part of the Earth Team. My name is Eric Smith. I have won the National Video Game Award three times in a row. I am also an athlete, and I am the basketball team captain of my school. All of the other members of The Earth Team spoke English. I got acquainted to Nova pretty quick, since she was about my age. She was only one year younger than me. Other than her, all other members of The Earth Team were older than me. T
here was Yu Yan, a Chinese teacher , Adrian Ivanov, a renowned Russian athlete, Asha Menon, an Indian athlete as well as video-gamer, and Akin Okafor, the Nigerian scientist. He had even won the Nobel Prize for his works. We were going to play the game in the planet, Drakon. This meant that we would all be travelling in the Drakonian spaceships. We were all excited and chatting about the game. I asked the Drakonians rules of the game. They said that we would understand the game quickly once we started to play it. We didn’t. They said that we would be sent home within two weeks. We weren’t. They said it was only to establish relationships with humans.
We climbed in the spaceships as the whole world watched us leave. It was a moment we all were very proud of. I felt us starting to rise. I looked out the oval windows and saw all the spaceships rising slowly upwards. Then suddenly, we all shot forward like a bullet. To tell the truth, I didn’t enjoy the spaceship ride as much as I had expected. We had to travel for 12 hours in the spaceship before arriving at the planet. It was pretty boring but I didn’t get too bored since I had Nova to talk to. Before we even knew it, we had become good friends. I mostly slept or talked to Nova. Other than that, the Drakonians had a sort of video game, but I could never get the hang of how to play it.
I was talking to Nova when we felt the spaceship descending. After landing, all of the Earth team members and I looked out the windows in wonder, and to tell the truth, it was the by far most beautiful city that I had ever seen. There were two giant columns that joined together on the top in a half oval shape. On either side huge floating train vehicles were present. The trains were mainly white with golden railings stretching from the front to the back of the train. The whole ground was covered with light almond-colored tiles. The place was bustling with Drakonians. It was a wondrous sight to see but there was a strange feeling that kept nagging me. That’s when I realized that there was not a single sound to be heard. It was pin-drop silence. Literally.
All of us got up to exit the spaceship, but we were stopped and given gas masks before exiting. It was hard to walk outside. I felt like I was bouncing like a ball rather than walking. I could barely even stop my own body from moving. The Drakonians led us to the trains. The doors opened gracefully with a tiny hiss. All of the Earth Team members, including me, boarded the train. The Drakonianans didn’t board the train. They told us that we would be taken directly to the place where we would play the games. They called the place The Game Satellite. The doors closed and the train started moving. We looked outside, but everything we saw outside was a blur. I am pretty sure that we were going as fast as the speed of light. We arrived at the Game Satellite in approximately one minute. There we were greeted by seven Drakonians.
Apparently, these Drakonians were the members of Team Drakon, the players we were going to play against. They showed us around the Game Satellite and showed us our room. They said that they had tried to make our rooms as human-friendly as possible. Each of us had separate rooms. The Game Satellite had any type of entertainment you would ever want, ranging from giant libraries, to gigantic VR video game arcades. We all settled in our rooms and unpacked our stuff. We were going to play our first game tomorrow. I sat on my bed, and was going to read the news, when suddenly an alarm just started beeping. I looked around and saw a Drakonian opening the door and coming in. He said, “Excuse me Sir, I am sorry for interrupting, but no members of Earth are allowed to read the news or listen to the radio. For security reasons.” I was confused but I agreed to their strange condition. I settled down on my bed, getting ready for a good night’s sleep.
I woke up next morning, eager to play the game. I felt energetic as I started humming a song as I started to brush my teeth. I took a shower and wore my Earth Team uniform. I polished my black shoes and wore it with my white socks. I arrived at the Earth Team meeting hall, and met everyone as we sat down for breakfast. It was a combination of steak and bell peppers in a loaf of bread. It didn’t taste too bad. In fact, it tasted great. We stood and talked with each other after finishing with our breakfast. A door on our right opened, and a member of the Drakon Team came in. He told us that the game was going to start, and motioned to us to follow him.
We walked in a single file and got into the room where we would play our game. The room was divided into two sides by a transparent curtain. Then we started to play it. To explain the game, it was hard to understand it at first, but slowly we understood how to play it. The game was sort of like chess, but not quite. Only a single player of a team could make a move, and it was a lot tougher. We lost our very first game. We were depressed, and we started to fight with each other, blaming each other for the loss. The Earth team spirit had been shattered in fifteen minutes. We started losing every single game we played. Everyone stopped talking to one another and started acting like total strangers. Nobody sat together while eating. It was a sad time to be part of the Earth Team. The only friends left were me and Nova.
One day, I was practicing my guitar. Usually, Nova would sing along with the tune of the guitar, but today, she was nowhere to be found. I just sat and played a tune from one of my favorite songs. While I was playing the song, Nova just burst into the music room, knocked over the music stand, and crashed onto the sofa. I ran to the fridge where I got a bottle of water and gave it to Nova who gulped it down. “Oh Eric, oh Eric.” She murmured. “What happened, why are you so breathless?” I asked.
She said “Eric, remember when the Drakonians told us that we were not allowed to listen to the radio? Well, it was for a particular reason. I sneaked to their base and saw them listening to the radio. Well I also decided to listen, and guess what they were talking about.” “What”, I asked as I started to feel a cold chill creeping up my spine. “The game they are playing,” she said, “Is not just a way to establish relations with us. They are playing for the planets of our Solar System. Each game we lose, they take over another planet of ours. They have got control of all planets, except for Earth. We lose the next game and they will take over Earth. You don’t need to be too smart of a person to know what will happen to us.” I felt shocked. If we didn’t win the next game, then they will take over our planet.
I felt cold and hugged my knees. Nova was wiping tears from her eyes. I asked her, “How about if we win?” She told me, “We get a planet back.” “So what should we do now?” I asked. “Let us arrange a meeting. I will call all the girls and you call all the boys. Tell them to meet at the Earth Team headquarters tomorrow morning 8:00 sharp.” She suggested. “Okay,” I said and ran to my room. There, I washed my face, as I tried to digest everything that had happened. Then, I ran to find Adrian Ivanov. I found him at the lap center where he was running around the tracks. I called him, “Hey Adrian, there is a meeting tomorrow that you need to attend, 8:00 morning sharp, at the Earth Team headquarters.” He nodded.
I then went to find Henry Cooper. I found him in his room. I knocked on the door, and he let me in. His eyes were red and I saw the TV on. He looked like he had barely even slept. “Please attend the Earth Team meeting tomorrow morning at the Earth Team headquarters, tomorrow 8:00 morning sharp.” He also nodded. I ran to find Akin Okafor. I found him in the Physics Lab, making some type of prototype robot. Materials were strewn all over the enormous table. I started, “Mr. Akin”. He looked up. “There will be a meeting tomorrow morning at the Earth Team headquarters on 8:00 sharp. Will you please come to attend it?” Okay son,” he said, and looked back down to the robot he was making. “Thank you Sir.” I said as I exited the Physics Lab and made my way back to my room. I felt my head feel heavy, as I lied down on my bed. I gave a big yawn, as my drowsiness overcame me and my eyelids closed.
I woke up the next day on about 7:00. I quickly brushed my teeth, took a shower, and wore my Earth Team uniform. I made way downstairs to the breakfast hall. It was already 8:00, so I was pretty much the only one there. I shoved down my breakfast quickly, and ran to the Earth Team headquarters. I found everyone there. Only Nova was nowhere to be found. I looked around at everywhere. No one was talking with each other. Everyone looked like they had just woken up. Yu Yan’s shirt was torn a bit near the collar. She had not even bothered to comb her hair. I walked to the front and sat in the first row.
Suddenly, the door slowly swung open and Nova walked in. She looked perfect in her neatly ironed Earth Team uniform. She walked to the center lightly and addressed us. “Good morning my dear friends. I am the one who organized the meeting. I have recently discovered some news about the game we’re playing. It is not just a game to play for fun. It is a game for our planets. Each game we lose, we lose a planet of our solar system. They have almost got all our planets. The last planet left is Earth. They win one more game and they will take over Earth. They will do anything they want with us. They may even kill us humans.” Everyone looked shocked. Not a normal shock but a more like Oh-man-I-should-have-tried-to-do-better that kind of shock.
Everyone huddled together as everyone comforted each other. The Earth Team was like a family again. Then Nova said, “We shouldn’t lose hope. We have still got an advantage.” “What advantage?”Asked Adrian. Nova explained,”Have you ever noticed how the Drakonians play? They don’t play as a team but as individuals. We made a mistake by following how they played. We also played individually, which was how we lost. The Drakonians are more experienced than us, but we will always have the upper hand if we play as a team.” I piped in, “Yes. Just like in basketball. If there is a good player but he never passed to his teammates, then there would be no use. He would never be able to score.” “You nailed the point, Eric.”Nova said thankfully. “So as Eric said, we should play as a team, never as an individual.”
Everyone was nodding in agreement. Nova suggested,”Let us play in an order from weakest to strongest.” Akin said,”Yes Nova. I will tell you the best order. First we will put Adrian, then me, then Asha, then Henry, then Yu Yan, then Eric, and then the best, Nova.” Everyone was smiling. Akin continued,”Come on people, we haven’t lost yet. We know our advantages and are fixing our disadvantages. We can win this. We still have a chance. A last chance to prove ourselves.” From then on we started practice. Our next game would be the day after tomorrow. We started practice immediately after the meeting. We slowly analyzed the mistakes we made during practice and worked on it.
Finally, the day of the game arrived. I got ready, dusted off my Earth Team uniform, polished my boots, and went out to meet everyone at the headquarters. Everyone looked clean after a long time. They had all cleaned up their Earth Team uniform and were wearing it proudly. Everyone was talking together, planning the game. Nova came to me and said, “Don’t worry Eric, we won’t lose. We have made great progress these two days. We may still make some mistakes, but we will win this.” Nova squeezed my hand and smiled. Then she walked away, encouraging everyone.
There was an announcement on the loudspeaker. “Earth Team members, please report to the game room now. Thank You.” “This is it everyone. It is a do or die. Come on guys.”I said as I put my hand in the middle. Everyone put their hand on top of mine. We raised our hands and shouted, “Earth Team!” Then we walked in a single file to the game room. We were walking in the order which Akin had formed. We reached the front of the game room. Nova then took a deep breath and swung the door open. We walked into the room and sat in the order from weakest to strongest (the same order which Akin had formed).
The Drakonians just stared at us with their black, expressionless, glassy eyes. Then we started to play the game. Even though we made a few mistakes, we still won the game. From then on, every game we played, we won it. We won back all of our planets, and when the next game was for one of the planets of their solar system, they stopped. They sent us back to Earth immediately and all the Drakonians left Earth forever, never to come back again.
We were received as heroes when we arrived at Earth. The world leaders congratulated us and gave us many rewards as a gesture of thankfulness. Every human being on Earth celebrated the sweetness of our victory. Then came the time to say goodbye to the other Earth Team members. I said goodbye to everyone, and they all left, to go back to their own homes. I am now sixty-three years old. I won’t ever forget about the Earth Team. I still think about them every day.