For our Christmas parties at PADT we generally have over 40 employees so a traditional secret Santa gift exchange takes to long. So a couple of years ago we downloaded a right-left gift exchange story from the internet and it was a big hit. We ran out of stories on the internet, so we started writing our own, usually in some sort of over-the-top style. This year we may have gone way over the top with a SciFi story that involves an alien scouting party visiting a new planet. I got a little carried away and it is a bit long.
If you have never played this game before it is simple. Everyone gets their gift and forms a big circle in the middle of the room. Someone with a strong voice reads the story and every the world LEFT is read, everyone passes the package they have to the left. Every time the world RIGHT is read, everyone passes the package they have to their right. You should pause a bit at each LEFT/RIGHT to give people a chance to pass. This year I also added a twist. When you use the word TURN, everyone needs to spin 180 degrees. Added complexity can make it more fun… or not.
We hope you get as many laughs out of it as we did.
Winter’s Night Rediscovered
Left to their own devices, the Zalaks will in general, wonder right around the galaxy. Captain F’Tool G’K’Right and his right hand man, and nestmate, leftenent P’Turn N’Tuk were lucky enough to have a job where they were paid to wonder around the galaxy. It left them both with a sense of true satisfaction and a feeling that could only rightly be described as joy.
“P’Turn, where are we Right now?” asked captain G’K’Right. “Right now… let me see” muttered N’Tuk as he stared as his navigation console. “We are approaching an inhabited planet referred to as Earth in the dominant language.”
G’K’Right asked: “Technological Status?”
“They appear to be right in the middle of the standard computational revolution, having just left a short nuclear period wherein the majority of the planet appears to have been left untouched by thermonuclear conflict” answered leftenent N’Tuk. “Where should we land for our initial investigation?”
Captain G’K’Right tapped his right temple with his right foreclaw. “hmmm…. This should not be left to chance, I think we should land in an uninhabited spot, right here” he said pointing at the nav screen with the same right foreclaw “right on top of the planet on this ice cap.”
“Right sir!” responded N’Tuk. “Turning on landing engines, setting course left 237, right 124”
The ship shook violently, left to right, forward to aft, as it descended through the atmosphere of the planet. Soon the ship slowed and stopped right above a huge ice ridge, looking down into a valley that should have been just snow. The crew looked at the right view screen, which showed sensor data. It registered the expected uninhabited snow covered valley. But right there in front of them, on the left view screen, which showed a visual image, they were left with no doubt. The valley was filled, from left to right, with a sprawling village.
The view left the captain stunned. “Turn off the landing engines and set down right here. Leftenent N’Tuk, we are left with no choice but to go out and explore this anomaly with our left, right, and center eyes!”
A short time later the landing party stood in a large open square. Their initial exploration had left them with the impression that the village had recently been abandoned. They had also discovered that right beneath their tentacles was a huge industrial complex that was capable of manufacturing a staggering amount and variety of items. It too had been recently left abandoned.
Captain G’K’Right looked around the square. In the center a tall pole stood, stretch right up to the bottom of the clouds, wrapped in red and green stripes arranged in a right-handed spiral. To the left of the pole, someone had left a pile of boxes wrapped in colorful paper. On the right of the pole was a giant green plant of some type that formed a cone shape and it had green and red decorations hanging from its branches. As G’K’Right stared at it he realized it leaned a little to the right, the imperfection of which seemed someone how right.
“Right!” said the captain “Before we turn around and get back on our ship I want to understand why our sensors still read snow but we can see and touch a complete village and a gigantic manufacturing facility.”
Leftenent N’Tuk looked up from his portable sensor array, gazed left, gazed right, then gazed left again and said “Captain, I am left with no doubt. It turns out that this whole area has a temporal damping field that obscures all non-biological sensing. It is as if the sensors see what was right here about 3000 orbits of this planet around the sun ago. But what we see and touch is what is here right now. The technology required has left me amazed. The temporal generator appears to be right there on top of that pole”
The captain was about to order the disassembly of the pole when, on the horizon to the right, he saw a bright red light. “Set up a defensive perimeter, right now!” he ordered.
The landing team formed an arc on the left of the square behind a low wall. As they watched, the red light got brighter and what appeared to be 9 fur covered animals pulled a large red vehicle right across the sky. Once again the captain was amazed.
The train of animals pulling the vehicle landed right in front of them in the square, where they realized that the red light was actually coming from an organ on the very tip of the lead animals head. Soon, a door on the right side of the red vehicle opened and out streamed bipedal creatures dressed from head to toe in green. The creatures formed a lines that stretched from the left to the… other side of the square. When several thousand had left the vehicle, a much larger, and rounder, bipedal creature came out of the opening and strode right up to the landing party.
He began to speak and the team’s universal translator translating what it heard into an earpiece they wore in their right ears:
“Hoo Hoo Hoo. Welcome my friends to the North Pole! I’m sorry we left no one here to great you, but right now is the only night of the year where we are not home! Ho Ho Ho! Your timing has left us un-prepared. Ho ho ho.”
Captain F’Tool G’K’Right strode forward to greet the large but friendly alien. And then he stopped. A memory had popped right into his head that left him wondering. He turned to and asked his right hand man, ” P’Turn, do you think, that this might possibly… , no it can’t be right. But the more I think the more I’m left without a doubt. Could this be S’ta C’las?” As the captain looked at his childhood nest-friend, he remembered rushing with P’Turn into the nursery room on Winter’s Night to find gifts scattered under the Winters’ Night Mushroom… and a tear of joy formed in his right eye.
He turned just in time to see the bi-pedal alien morph before his eyes and become S’ta C’las. In the Zelak language he heard S’Ta C’las say “N’ka, N’ka, N’ka. Merry Winter’s Night to you! F’Tool G’K’Right, you have been a good little Zelak, N’ka, N’ka, N’ka, and I welcome you to my home, right here on earth. I of course knew you were coming so we left you and your crew something here, right beneath this tree.”
As the landing party rejoiced and rushed forward to put their tentacle right around S’ta C’las the captain realized, with a mystical and magical creature like this for every planet left with a civilization on its surface, no matter where his travels left him, he know that in the end, no matter how bleak the situation, no matter how difficult the challenges, no matter how deep the sadness, everything would turn out… right.