It was a night like any other in Lincoln Park. The sounds of the drums, pounding feet and chachayotes filled the small gym, but soon the tired Aztec dancers streamed out, got into their cars and left. The park was quiet except for the occasional cricket and the sound of the freight trains pushing through the tracks on Valley Boulevard.

The last taco stand shut down for the night and a group of cholos from across the tracks gathered in the now-still park eating chile relleno burritos, drinking some Coronas and just hanging. If you were looking, you would occasionally see the flare of a lighter or the red-tipped ash of a cigarette illuminating one of the guy’s faces. Handsome young men, all of them, with the stances of Aztec warriors of old.

They were fierce and dangerous looking to some, comforting and homey to others.

The aliens above watched from their strangely shaped ship wondering what manner of creature these tattooed, brown gods were…or so they seemed to the tiny and bent luminescent creatures invading their planet with destruction in mind. To their race, only gods were tall.

Still, they thought that their gods were more powerful than these savage-seeming ones. Didn’t they have technology? Hadn’t they conquered world after world, galaxy after galaxy? These god-like creatures had to be unintelligent life forms – just in a large mass and like all lesser life forms, they would die and their planet’s resources would get siphoned into pure energy to take back to their world. They never left survivors. Their very name in their language meant destroyers of all life.

Not being burdened with conscience, they saw only their need for energy and the way to get it. Nothing stood in their way – not even strangely marked brown gods.

They waited. Soon, no one was on the streets. The traffic was gone and only the small group of young men stood alone. The ship turned on its lights and made its way into the parking lot near the gym. It seemed a clear enough space to land.

Jaime saw them first. “Trucha, homies! Watcha. What the hell is that?”

“Holy shit cabrón, I think it’s a spaceship!” Ruben dropped his cigarette and reached for the knife he kept hidden. Read more