Miles Somerset’s mental map of his briefcase’s contents was as accurate as his dream images of his garden, a place where he’d spent countless hours reading tax law tomes, tracts of tax philosophy, tax themed novels and tax inspired poetry. There was nothing tax related that hadn’t happened there. He’d even hired a beautiful bikini clad woman to tattoo a calculator on to his chest, in the shade of his Frangipani tree and paid cash to avoid the G.S.T. It was arguably his most exciting acts of tax evasion that financial year. Miles occasionally branched out into other topics, but managed to view them all from the perspective of tax.
Overseas holidays hardly dimmed Miles tax obsession. While being treated to panoramic views of the Amazon, he was busy contemplating the tax deductions he could get for the pilot, if he were among his clientele. As he focussed more intently on the shrinking expanse of river riddled jungle, he considered how he could conceivably fatten the tax return of the tour operators below.
Whether viewing a South American jungle or a French mediaeval jail, Miles’ tax dissecting, tax deflecting, tax collecting mind was in overdrive. At the age of twelve, he’d made a conscious decision to leave the spontaneity of childhood behind. He still loved to think on his feet during tax related crises though. Otherwise he wasn’t one to improvise, with the possible exception of his odes to the Medicare levy, which he composed while busking at railway stations with his ancient classical guitar.
For exercise, Miles lifted filing cabinets overladen with tax related documents. He also practised a blend of Brazilian ju-jitsu and free style wrestling, augmented by Thai boxing. One never knew when some aimless thug would need to be disciplined for interrupting Miles almighty schedule. He’d pinned a few would be wallet snatchers to the ground in his time and tortured most of them, usually by quizzing them on the details of their tax return. No matter who their accountant was Miles invariably left them devastated by missed opportunities for deductions.
It was while Miles was seated on a park bench, reading the Financial Review, that he first spotted the hornet like drone in his peripheral vision. It accelerated so rapidly it appeared to vanish from one spot and reappear in another. Miles was too engrossed in an article on the history of taxation in the colony of New South Wales, to notice the hornet like contraption hovering above him. It sent a signal to the interdimensional craft lurking above the clouds. If it weren’t for its radar absorbent force field, it would surely have been confronted by a squadron of fighter planes already. The ship was seen by hundreds of commercial airline passengers, on several flights, but before anyone had time to video or photograph it, it teleported out of range.
Miles finally realized something strange was happening when he was enveloped in a mysterious cloud of luminous gas. By the time his feet left the ground he was in an R.E.M state. He remained so until he was onboard what his nephews would’ve called the mothership. Miles called it an unforeseeable interruption to his schedule, which on his scale of disasters was akin to genocide. The temporary paralysis that fastened him to the gleaming white floor did nothing to improve his mood.
Once he was permitted to sit up and open his eyes, Miles discovered he was in the middle of an indoor stadium built for beings who were two foot tall at most. Unseen instruments scanned his internal organs from a distance. Nanobots piloted submarines through his bloodstream. Literally thousands of tests had been conducted by the time Miles suspected anything odd was afoot.
Miles vaguely humanoid captors possessed noise cancelling translation helmets that could decipher most languages within a one trillion light year radius. They were a vast improvement on the crude sound of primitive Earthling speech intermingled with the translation. Miles skull had been mapped weeks ago, from a distance, by his captors manufacturing robots. The mobile factory they operated had mined, refined and crafted the necessary materials into a custom-made translation helmet that fitted him as snugly as his eyes fitted their sockets.
At first, Miles imagined the translation helmet was protective equipment for an upcoming gladiatorial contest and that the extra terrestrials seated in what he thought was a commentary box, spoke English with a London accent. The truth eventually dawned on him. If he’d had the opportunity to hear his captors language it would’ve sounded vaguely like classical music to his uncomprehending ears.
“I don’t know who you guys are or how you mutated into your current form and quite frankly I don’t give a fuck but if you don’t return me to the park from which you abducted me, right now, I’ll report you to the ATO, the IRS, the IMF and worse” Miles raged.
The aliens didn’t know whether to laugh or cry at the level of denial it took for Miles to confuse them with genetically damaged humans. He was far more intelligent than the golden retriever they’d interviewed a few hours ago, but judging by some of his errors one wouldn’t think so. They’d never gotten used to the frequent, out of context, apparently sexual references, typical of English-speaking Earthlings. Their boredom, stemming from being insulted with just one adjective, had grown since they’d had the contrasting pleasure of talking to Robin Williams. They’d been tempted to adopt him as a pet.
Miles threats were even less intimidating, to the diminutive extra-terrestrials,, than the barking of the golden retriever, who had threatened to eat them if they didn’t prepare a banquet for him. They possessed a vast array of weapons that could do everything from programming Miles to tear out his major arteries, with a pair of pliers, to imploding his brain. Their means of activating these highly intelligent weapons were as numerous as the potential causes of death.
What did frighten the tiny interdimensional travellers was the network of microscopic computers embedded in Miles’ body. Their computer hardware experts confirmed they’d been installed by the Slorg’s, a war mongering Alpha Centaurian species, who possessed the astral projective, psychokinetic and pyrokinetic powers to remould marble statues from light years away. Their extra sensory abilities paled into insignificance, in comparison with their intellects. Interfering with a Slorg research specimen was potentially more dangerous than swimming naked in a volcano. There was no option but to release Miles immediately, draft an apology letter and contemplate the best way to bargain for their lives.
Another mysterious cloud of luminous gas transported Miles back to the park bench, where he’d been relaxing with a copy of the Financial Review. Miles was extremely impressed with his authoritative display onboard the gigantic experimental aircraft. Bowing to his reflection in the duckpond wasn’t enough. He further highlighted his supremacy with a shadow kickboxing exhibition, for the homeless people congregating in the old band stand. What was meant to impress them only served to terrify them. They cheered when Miles finally left the sanctuary of the park for the tax related adventures that awaited him in the office. In response, he raised his arms in triumph.
By the time Miles realized he’d left his copy of the Financial Review on the park bench, he was already in the pedestrian tunnel leading to Somerset Tax Consultants. He ran back to retrieve the newspaper. The thought of going over his media budget by four dollars was intolerable. Miles took no notice of the golden retriever running alongside him until it snatched his newspaper and galloped towards a heavily wooded area of the park. The homeless people in the bandstand laughed uproariously as Miles gave chase. He cursed like a gangster as mud splattered his trousers.
The mischievous Labrador finally dropped the teeth punctured, saliva saturated newspaper at the feet of a pin stripe suit clad oddity. The Slorgs had been too hasty in the development of their new Homo sapien avatars. Their facial expressions weren’t quite natural. They reminded Miles of the sex robot he’d discreetly purchased during his trip to Tokyo.
Miles couldn’t resist the opportunity to do business “Sir, there’s no need to steal my newspaper and corrupt this poor, innocent animal in the process. If you’re looking for a financial adviser, there are several talented associates of mine whom I can recommend, depending on the size of your portfolio and your investment needs.”
“Silence Homo sapien, I have no need for the quaint wealth proliferation strategies your dumbass friends wish to foist on me. I’ll let you in on a little secret, that beautiful tattooist, who illustrated your torso with a calculator, wasn’t really a tattooist, it was one of our I.T specialists. It injected probes into your bloodstream. These probes collected the necessary raw materials from your organs to build a computer network, for the purposes of conducting research into the Homo sapien immune system. We plan to use the resulting discoveries to improve medical treatment for the hundreds of species of hominids on display in the wildlife parks, on our home planet.
“The Orbloober’s, the tiny creatures who abducted you this morning, have been terrified of us ever since we vaporised some of their hospital ships, in response to their unwitting theft of some of our research specimens. They really should be more careful. We’ve had quite enough of reading their apology letters. Anyway, it’s been nice to talking to you, I’ve got things to sabotage, places to be, creatures to kill”
Miles watched in awe, as a tiny reconnaissance drone, that had been briefly trapped in Gary the golden retriever’s intestinal tract, flew out one of his nostrils.
“I’ve been looking for that for hours. No, it is not food” the Slorg explained to Gary, with what sounded like cacophonous barking to Miles. He was momentarily distracted by the sight of a wedge tailed eagle. When he looked around again the tall, odd looking stranger and Gary the Golden retriever were nowhere to be seen. Miles wondered if he’d inadvertently ingested psychotropic drugs, as he headed back in the direction of Somerset Tax Consultants.