TITLE: SPACE JUMPERS AND THE PALEO PLANET
GENRE: MG Science Fiction
I know it's rude to stare. I mean, geez, how many times has Mom told me that? A million? But I'd never seen an alien before. Not up close, at least. Sure, we'd all seen the Global Geographic specials that aired on the webs in a constant loop, 24-7. Anyone who hadn't seen pics and videos of the Tunnelers must have been hiding out in a dingy hover garage for the last twenty years.
But there he was. Sitting across from me on the air rail car. Me, Jasper Adams, riding the rails with an alien – a real live Tunneler – on my way home from school.
I had to take it as a sign. I mean, what were the odds I would have a close encounter with an alien the day I shipped out to the space station?
The alien was small. It's not like I was one of the short kids, but I wasn't that big for twelve, either. And I was a lot taller than the alien. He had a long, rodent-like snout. Bristly brown hair sprouted from every patch of skin. He wore dark glasses that curved around on the sides. The light probably bugged him because Tunnelers live underground. He wore the standard officer's uniform – grey jumpsuit with orange lettering, ISF, Intergalactic Space Force.
As soon as I got home, I'd be suiting up in my ISF uniform. And I'd better get home fast. I'd totally spaced after school, and I was running late. Mom was not going to be happy.