By S.E. Smith
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 started 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 to be 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 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 and the robot kids attend school. Returning to the spaceship, the neighborhood is surrounded by the Military. A phone call to the newspaper rallies the town, who come to the rescue with Christina Stock and her white pickup in the lead. Will Roswell’s citizens be able to protect the aliens?
General, so you are saying that the government will not be taking the alien family away, is that correct?” Christina asked, peering over her glasses as she scribbled in her notebook.
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“I can assure you that Diamond, Copper and the children will not be harmed in any way,” General Adams stated.
“What about Rover One?” Alan asked.
General Adams turned and looked at him with a frown. “Excuse me?” the general asked with a puzzled expression.
“He said what about Rover One? You guys aren’t going to hurt him either, are you?” Matt demanded. “You know the military is always dissecting aliens and stuff. I just saw a movie where they cut the alien open and pulled his insides out.”
“Alan…,” Carbon said with a look of alarm as she tightened her arms around Rover One.
“The… dog will be left alone as well,” General Adams dryly conceded.
Alan shot a glare at Matt. “Don’t you have to go home?” he demanded.
Matt grinned at him. “Naw. My mom and dad are outside the fence talking with the mayor,” he replied.
Alan pinched the bridge of his nose. He looked at the General and cleared his throat. He really hoped he wasn’t as dense as Matt was sometimes.
The General was talking with Copper and Diamond. Miss Christina was taking notes. He tried to follow what they were saying.
“But … I don’t think …,” Copper was saying.
“No,” Diamond said firmly at the same time.
“I’m afraid this isn’t open for discussion. We either have your spaceship or we have you,” General Adams said.
“That ‘spaceship’ is our home,” Diamond argued.
“Diamond …,” Copper said.
Diamond had pools of oil glistening in the corners of her eyes. “Don’t you ‘Diamond’ me, Copper. At the moment, that spaceship has all of our worldly possessions in it,” she argued.
Copper stepped closer to Diamond and gently pulled her into his arms. “Yes, it does. But the only worldly possessions I care about are you, the kids and ….” He glanced at Rover One who was gnawing on one of Carbon’s bolts. “… and Rover One.”
“It doesn’t work,” she sniffed, glaring over Copper’s shoulder at the General.
“What doesn’t work?” General Adams asked.
Diamond waved her hand at the large, empty spot where the invisible spaceship was located. “Our spaceship. It doesn’t work,” she stated.
General Adams looked confused for a moment. His gaze moved to the spot where she pointed. The only evidence that there was anything there was the open door and the platform that were several feet off the ground.
“But it could be fixed, right? If you had the right parts — you could fix it, couldn’t you?” Alan suddenly asked.
Diamond looked confused for a moment before she nodded. “Yes, but where would we get the parts we need?” she questioned.
Alan bit his lip. He looked at Carbon and Rover One before his focus turned to where Iron was standing silently next to Matt. Finally, he returned his attention to the General.
“You said that Diamond, Copper, Iron, Carbon and Rover One could all stay here in Roswell, right?” he demanded.
“Under supervision, yes,” General Adams cautiously agreed. “They’ll have a whole town supervising them,” Miss Christina said with a wink at Alan.
Alan smiled. Something told him that Miss Christina was thinking the same thing that he was — how to keep their visitors’ home here as well. He looked at Diamond and Copper.
“If the General were able to get you the parts you need, you could fix the spaceship for him, couldn’t you?” Alan asked.
“I … Yes, if we had the parts,” Diamond agreed.
Alan turned back to the General with a grin. “That works, then. It’s way too big for you to move, especially since you can’t see how big it really is…” Alan began.
“And heavy … don’t forget it is like super ton heavy. Not even the Hulk could lift it, could he, Alan?” Matt said.
Alan blinked in surprise that Matt was actually helping for once. “No … not even the Hulk could lift it. So, what if you leave it here and they fix it. You could have scientists come help them so they can observe, but they’ll get to live in it until then,” he suggested.
“That is a wonderful idea,” Miss Christina said with a huge smile.
Alan tried to ignore the look of suspicion that crossed General Adams’s face. He was silent for a long time. Alan could see his gaze move from Diamond and Copper to the spaceship and then to the large crowd of people still encircling the property around his house. He finally turned and looked at Diamond.
“How big is the spaceship?” he demanded.
“It is very large,” Diamond said.
“Huge,” Alan added.
“Taller than the Burj Khalifa in Dubai,” Matt added.
Everyone turned and looked at Matt with a shocked expression. The General shook his head in disbelief. He frowned, but Alan could feel hope building inside him.
“Here’s the deal. I’ll work on getting the parts you need to repair your ship — with help from our scientists and engineers. When it is repaired, you will share the technology with us AND the knowledge to operate it,” General Adams instructed.
“Agreed,” Alan said, stepping forward and holding out his hand.
General Adams frowned. Alan remained in front of Diamond and Copper with his hand out. After a moment, the General shook his hand.
Alan watched as General Adams turned and walked over to a group of soldiers. He released the breath he had been holding. When this was all over, he was going to be nominated for an Academy Award!
“What was that all about?” Copper finally asked.
Alan turned and gave Copper a weak smile. “That was a way for you to get your spaceship fixed and not lose it so you can go home,” he said.
“But, we promised to give him our ship once it was repaired,” Diamond fretted.
Miss Christina laughed. “You didn’t promise — Alan did, and since he doesn’t have a spaceship, you get to keep yours,” she answered.
“Wow, Alan, that was sweet! I need to figure out a way to do the ole’ bait and switch on my folks,” Matt remarked with a grin.
Alan turned to look at Matt with a puzzled expression. “The Burj Khalifa in Dubai? Where did you learn about the tallest building in the world?” he demanded.
“I’m not as dumb as people think. I play Trivial Pursuit with my mom all the time,” Matt said with a smug expression.
“Wrong Turn To Roswell” continues July 28 with episode 21: Saying Goodbye.
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. 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.