Edwin leaned over the balcony of his 37th floor New Moscow apartment overlooking the Martian cityscape.
“Did you see that hover car? It tried to chase that space skiff into the mesosphere. Ha!” Edwin exclaimed.
"I wonder what was so important,” Alejandro said. They spent a few minutes discussing possibilities from the mundane to the outlandish.
“Must be Granny Greta,” Edwin said, going inside. “Abode, unlock the downstairs garage entrance for Granny,” Edwin said to the apartment AI. “Let’s meet her at the elevator, Alejandro.”
“Bueno. These cookies better hold up to all the hype. I didn’t plan to spend my Saturday with the elderly,” Alejandro said.
“The cookies are worth it, and she’s worth it, too.” Edwin held the door open for Alejandro.
“No offense, man. I had my eye on this girl in my class and thought I’d check out her soccer game later. Get in her good graces and all that.”
Edwin replied with a smile. Visits with Granny Greta somehow never went as expected. “I mean, she’s pretty great for a little old lady. She even knits - hats and sweaters and stuff.”
“With a 3d printer or something? I saw one of those in a museum on Earth once.”
“No, with sticks and string.”
“I’m serious. You can watch old videos of it in the archives,” Edwin explained, then the elevator doors opened to reveal the little old lady in question, knitting needles in hand, teetering from the weight of an oversized pink bag slung over her shoulder. “Granny!” Edwin put his arms around her. “This is my friend Alejandro.”
“Nice to meet you.” Alejandro smiled, all charm.
“Mucho gusto, dearie. Let me take a good look at my grandson’s newest friend. Hold this, Edwin.” Granny Greta deposited the bag into Edwin’s arms and pulled bifocals from her jogging suit pocket. “Clean teeth and nails, not too much excess fat, well-dressed, good manners, and an honest face.”
Alejandro tittered. “Am I up for auction?”
“Out of the hallway we go. Too many windows here.” Granny Greta rushed the young men into Edwin’s apartment without a response for Alejandro. “Abode, lock the front door.” She sat on the couch next to Edwin and her bag. “When are you giving your AI a real name?”
“When I think of a good one,” Edwin said.
Granny Greta pulled yarn from her bag. The gold knitting needles flashed as she clinked them together, back and forth with the yarn. The young men watched for several minutes, transfixed.
“Who’s at the door, Abode?” Edwin asked.
But Granny Greta dived to the floor. “No time for that!” she shouted.
A flash erupted around the door hinges and four purple clad legs burst through the opening. Two green aliens brandishing a rocket launcher between them scanned the room.
“Old Martians?” Alejandro asked. “What are they doing here?”
“Duck!” Granny Greta rose to her knees behind her grandson, aiming the knitting needles at each of the aliens. Lasers beamed from the tips and hit them in the chest.
“That will only stun them for a few minutes. Grab my bag, will ya?”
Alejandro ran his hands through his hair, eyes swiveling between Granny Greta and the Old Martians sprawled in the doorway. “What the – I don’t even – what’s going on?”
“I got the bag, Granny,” Edwin said.
“Come on then. My skiff is in the garage.” Granny Greta looked into Alejandro’s bewildered face. “You with us?”
Alejandro gestured to the aliens. “I’m definitely not with them.”
“Don’t worry. It’ll be fun.” Granny Greta strode over the aliens and into the hallway.
“Are visits with your grandma always like this?” Alejandro asked Edwin, both following Granny over the chunks of blasted door.
“Ever since taking a secret government job,” Edwin said.
Granny Greta bristled. “You go wash your mouth out with soap, young man. I do not work for that crooked conspiracy hub called a government. What’s your friend going to think of me?”
“I already am enamorado, infatuated with you, Granny. May I call you that?”
Granny Greta pointed the knitting needles at Alejandro. “A sweet talker, huh? We haven’t got time for that. If these two found me, others are already on their way.”
“But Granny, what about my cookies?” Edwin asked.
“I didn’t forget. I have them in my bag but be a good boy and wait until we’re aboard the skiff.”
Ding! The three people and the bulging pink bag squeezed into the elevator.
Alejandro raised his eyebrows. “Somehow I get the feeling it’s an honor to be included in this, uh, adventure.”
“Celebrate later. Move now.”
As the elevator doors closed, they saw a blinding flash light up the sky through the hallway window.