The children’s story “Wrong Turn to Roswell” by USA Today and The New York Times bestselling author S.E. Smith started with episode 1 and 2 in the Vision Magazine, published on Dec. 21, 2017. The magazines are available for free at rdrnews.com/special-publications.
The story continues in the Vision section of the Roswell Daily Record, which debuted Sept. 23.
What happened: A spaceship with a vacationing robot family had to land for repairs in the back of an artist’s welding studio in Roswell. The robot father Copper and their mother Diamond warn their son Iron and his sister Carbon to not get into trouble. Despite the warning, the kids run out after their dog Rover One and encounter two human boys, Alan and Matt. The boys promise to help, but the robots are in danger of being found because of Dr. Lancer who is an instructor at Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell. A mob gathers, but Alan has a plan. Together with the help of Stanton Friedman, Roswell Daily Record reporter Christina Stock, the Roswell Police Department’s Chief Deputy Shane Baker and the publisher of the Roswell Daily Record, Barbara Beck, the robots hide successfully in plain site as art in the welder’s studio of Alan’s mom. The next morning, they find out that photos were leaked, and the decision is made to announce the reality of alien robots in Roswell at the UFO Festival and GalactiCon planning committee meeting in the UFO Museum. The reception is friendly, but Iron and Matt sneak downstairs to meet the tourists with Alan and Carbon in pursuit to stop them, but they are too late. The children are surrounded by the crowd including a very upset Dr. Lancer. Before Dr. Lancer can get physical the robot Mom Diamond calms everybody and apologizes to Dr. Lancer. A group photo is taken by Christina Stock for the paper. Will the world be ready for the news of alien robots, and how will the government react?
Alan sat on the floor in the family room later that night. He absently fingered the pawn he had just taken from Matt, and vaguely wondered if Matt was planning on moving into his house since he still hadn’t gone home.
“What’s this piece do again?” Matt asked, holding up a chess piece.
“That’s the king. You want to protect it. It can only move one space, but in any direction,” he explained for the fourth time. “Maybe we should play a different game.”
“I’ll play against him,” Iron said. “I think I remember the rules that you explained,” he added.
Alan quickly nodded and slid out from under the coffee table. He placed the pawn on the table before he stepped around Iron. Seconds later, he was sitting on the floor next to Carbon. He watched as she worked on a small circuit board located in Rover One’s stomach.
“What are you doing?” he asked.
Carbon looked up at him and grinned. “I think I diagnosed why Rover One was having so many accidents. One of the wires leading to his oil overflow tank sensor was shorting out. See this? Whenever he would move a certain way, the wires touched. His onboard computer would read it as an overflow issue and would activate the pump to release the pressure,” she explained.
“Oh, it’s pretty cool — that you figured it out, I mean. Too much oil can do as much damage as not enough. You don’t want Rover One to overheat,” he said with a nod.
Carbon looked at him with a surprised expression. “That’s right,” she said, shyly twisting a finger around one of her coils.
Alan frowned when he saw there was an odd bend in it. Reaching up, he fingered the spot.
“What happened?” he asked.
Carbon shrugged. “The boy in the museum pulled on it. I’ll have to take a curling rod to it,” she commented.
Alan turned his head when he heard Diamond laughing and he saw Copper brushing his hand along Diamond’s cheek. Alan turned back to look at Carbon.
“Are your parents always like that?” he curiously wondered out loud.
Carbon nodded. “Mom likes to tell the story of how she was working in a used parts store when Dad came in looking for an odd size bolt. She says they have been staring into each other’s eyes ever since,” she dryly responded.
“Can you feel it when I touch your cheek?” he asked.
“Of course! We have very advanced sensory receptors embedded throughout our exterior shell,” she replied.
“Oh … so do we — only, well, we call it skin,” he muttered.
“Miss Christina is going to introduce us to some of the people in town. Mom said the committee felt it would be best if we tried to fit into the community. They are worried that humans might not accept us because we are different,” Carbon said. She sounded worried too.
Alan watched Carbon replace the small cover over the area she had been working on. He’d been thinking about what might happen to the small alien family. It was only a matter of time before the government heard about them. He pulled his legs up and rested his chin on his knees.
“Maybe your folks will repair the damage to your ship and you’ll get to go home,” he commented.
Carbon looked at him with eyes that glowed. He couldn’t help but think how fast he’d gotten used to looking at them — and how pretty they were. Embarrassed by his thoughts, he reached up, pulled his glasses off, and began cleaning them with the bottom of his shirt.
“Mom said the damage is pretty bad. It’s going to take weeks, if not months, to repair everything and that is only if they can find all the parts,” Carbon sighed.
Alan replaced his glasses and looked at Carbon. He reached out and grasped her hand. He gently squeezed her fingers, and opened his mouth to say something encouraging when Matt called out behind him.
“Wahoo! Hey, Alan, guess what? Iron and Carbon are going to school with us tomorrow,” Matt exclaimed.
Alan’s heart skipped a beat. Carbon and Iron in school — his school — tomorrow?! Alan loved school; well, he loved learning. He didn’t like the school part very much. Nerds like him were not the most popular kids to hang around with except during classroom reports or tests.
“What better way to fit in?” Diamond said.
“Isn’t that great, Alan? We’ll finally have friends at school who know us and who don’t want to beat us up!” Matt stated with a huge grin.
“Wrong Turn To Roswell” continues March 10 with episode 17: First Day of School
S.E. Smith is a New York Times, USA TODAY and international award-winning author of science-fiction, fantasy, paranormal and contemporary works for children, young adults and adults. She enjoys writing a wide variety of genres that pull her readers into worlds that take them away. Smith was part of last year’s UFO Festival and GalactiCon where she gathered more information about the town and its people to include in her story. Smith has a book series about the fictitious town Magic, New Mexico, which was inspired by her first trip to our area in 2015 and is located somewhere between Roswell, Artesia and Carlsbad.
Smith’s newest adult book is “Core’s Attack”, about a chief security officer going through a portal and finding the planet Baade, a world filled with an annoying, male-dominated species called Prime. Readers can check out her website at sesmithfl.com and chat with her on Facebook at facebook.com/se.smith.5 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.