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Homo Cosmiens:

Samuel (Sam) Fraser

Lieutenant Colonel Samuel (Sam) Fraser watched television in his home in Georgetown. Gathering intelligence about the Vessel was his newly assigned job. He pressed the channel change button on his television remote.

"Mother of six claims the Vessel took her children. News at eleven," squawked the voice from Sam's television.

His handsome face grimaced as he listened to the babble about the Vessel. He pressed the button on his remote again.

"Will you intervene in our current financial crisis?" the interviewer asked in a demanding tone. "What is your position on big government? Do you plan to run for office?"

Sam's short haircut made his ears appear to be the prominent feature on his head. His strong hairline formed a peak, low on his forehead, which made his hair seem to sit on his head like a cap.

The Vessel replied, to the interviewer, in a dry and controlled voice. "We are not here to change anything in your world. We are here only to help you achieve your goals and to ensure your continued existence. We will not interfere with your governments. We will not impose ourselves on you at all."

A frown formed on Sam's kind face. "What a circus surrounds the Vessel and how absurd it all is," he thought. He pressed the button again.

"...Watch Dave have intergalactic fun tonight with his special guest star: the Vessel," said the excited television announcer.

Sam Fraser believed in country and duty above all else, he learnt this from an early age. These feelings drove him into his life of service. While at military school in Mississippi, they reinforced the idea that God and country were everything. Again, he pressed the button on his remote.

"Oprah interviews the Vessel to talk about its early years..."

"Why would people talk to a creature like the Vessel in such a way? What does this thing want with us? That is what they should be asking." All he knew, for certain, were his suspicions of its motives and that he would defend his country against it, with his life, if need be.

A photo on his sideboard caught his eye. The noise from the television faded. Three young men sitting on an armored vehicle looked back at him with solemn looks. He could smell the dust on their uniforms. His mind drifted to Iraq. He found himself back in combat. Children, looking at him with pleading faces, reached up and touched him. He was walking down a rubble-filled street past the bullet-hole riddled façade of a crumbled building. He saw again the horrible acts of brutality against innocent men, women, and children. He heard the explosion of an improvised explosive device and his skin went cold. He fell back to his living room and his current reality. He was in a cold sweat and trembling. He pressed the button on his remote again.

"So what is it like not to have a body," asked Ellen in her dry manner. A roar of laughter irrupted from Sam's television.

His faith in god had become confused after Iraq, but his loyalty to his country had grown stronger. "How could god allow such things?" he found himself thinking. "Democracy, the founding fathers, and manifest destiny, these things are real not god."

The din from the television faded again. "Sammy, did you say your prayers?" asked the soft voice of his long dead mother. "When I lay me down to sleep I pray the Lord my soul to keep," continued his ghostly mom. "...Sammy, we will be late for church. Come on get out of bed and get dressed or I will call your father." Her voice melted away.

"Sam, honor is all a man has in the end, do not forget this son," his long dead father spoke in a stern voice. "...Attention Samuel! Stand up straight, shoulders back, eyes forward," commanded his fatherly specter. "...I do not know Sam if god exists, but I know that America does. It is our job to defend her Sam, you remember this son."

More laughter from his television greeted Sam as he returned to the real world. He asked himself, "Why all these memories now? When will I be able to forget?"

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