M. Elizabeth Ginway is Associate Professor of Portuguese in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies at the University of Florida. She is author of Brazilian Science Fiction: Cultural Myths and Nationhood in the Land of the Future (Bucknell, 2004), which appeared in Portuguese translation in 2005. That same year she organized the symposium “Latin America Writes Back,” and is currently co-editing a volume of essays based that event with J. Andrew Brown. She has published in Brasil/Brazil, Extrapolation, Hispania, Foundation, Science Fiction Studies, Revista Iberoamericana, and Femspec and currently has one article forthcoming in June Luso-Brazilian Review. In May she traveled on a grant to Chile to attend a science fiction conference, “Fisuras en el fin del mundo: Simposio de Narrativa Weird en Latinoamérica,” and in July, a collection of her essays will be launched in São Paulo, Visão alienígena by Devir. Although her work has concentrated primarily on Brazilian SF, she is working on extending her interests to Spanish America, having taught a course on Latin American SF in English translation. At present, an essay based on this class will appear in the volume Teaching Science Fiction, ed. by Peter Wright and Andy Sawyer, forthcoming by Palgrave McMillan.

Though the air seemed to be still, swirls of dust could be seen, lifted by a soft breeze which noiselessly blew. The deep blue sky that had no clouds and was only very rarely scratched by jets at extremely high altitudes, was a dome jagged by gray mountains in the horizon.

A road, the State Route 375, which asphalt seemed to come from nowhere and lead nowhere, cut through the desert in a black dusty line. A few meters away from it, there was an apparently abandoned gas station. Two pumps. There was also a convenience store which glass door seemed to be lacking cleaning for a long time.

At one of the pumps, a Chevy 500 with its body screwed and burnt by the sun appeared to wait for someone to fuel it.

But all this scenery wasn’t inhabited. Inside the convenience store, two men and a woman looked around in bewilderment and a certain perplexity.

“Where does this voice come from?” Libby asked.

“This crazy watch inserted an omniscient narrator to the story,” I answered, hitting the watch, feeling peeved.

Libby Ginway frowned, grabbed a paper box full of cans of beer and other stuff and turned around, leaving the place.

“When I took this interview I knew I would witness strange stuff. But this…”

“Me myself always feel surprised by this machinery. It once altered my personality, can you believe that? I almost killed… yes… I almost killed an interviewee. It was horrible.”

Libby put the things in the back of the car but grabbed the beers first. She put them in the floor of the car, sat on the driver’s seat and turned the engine on.

“Are you staying outhere?” She asked showing some impatience.

“And where are we going?” I wanted to know.

“Secret mission,” she said blinking.

“Won’t you need gas?”

“I fueled before you arrived.”

When I arrived into this scenery, the omniscient narrator was still speaking of the blue dome and of the gray mountains. I walked straight into the store and found her inside. She was talking to the man that was attending her and I had the clear impression that they were exchanging important information, in such a way, that they were close and seemed to whisper to each other. Libby was wearing jeans, high boots, a checked shirt and a cap. Her hair was loose. Her hands moved rapidly, she seemed to be nervous. Before I came close, the man put the box full of junk, which seemed useless to me, onto the counter.

I left the brief reminiscences behind and took a deep breath, with the clear impression that it would be more prudent to stay in the gas station. But I had to follow her.

I sat by her side, slammed the door with moderate strength and it didn’t close. Libby signaled that I had to lift it a little if I wanted to see it locked. It closed correctly in my second trial.

“Inhospitable place,” I said, while she turned back with the car and went back into the highway.

“Nevada Desert,” she answered.

“Interesting! Near Las Vegas right? Good! This time this interview will be done in glamour!”

Libby laughed to herself, nodding. I had the impression that this wasn’t the exact idea.

The desert lingered indefinitely, streaky with scattered rocky formations, small mountainous elevations, saguaros and Joshua trees. The State Route 375, also called the “Extraterrestrial Highway”, which had very little traffic, saw a Chevy 500 moving forward in good speed. The city of Rachel was left behind. Following straight would lead them to State Route 318, in Crystal Springs. A destination that would never be reached by the intrepid couple.

“Isn’t there a way to turn this crap off?” Libby asked while opening a can of beer and throwing another one to me.

“The omniscient narrator said – and no, I can’t turn this crap off – that Crystal Springs won’t be reached… where are we going?” I asked curiously.

“Like this, with this “guy” narrating all the events, there is no mission that can be well succeeded, don’t you think? Jean-Claude Dunyach is right… made in Brazil.”

“The watchmaker seemed to be Asian,” I objected, uncertain if it served or not as an argument. I opened the can of beer and took a fast sip.

It was better to change the subject and there was nothing more natural than starting the interview. The sooner I did it, the sooner we would be out of that scorching desert.

“You have recently broadened your contacts with the Latin American SF community. I heard you have just been to Chile. What has attracted you in the SF of other Latin countries and what are the most visible similarities you see between them and the SF practiced in Brazil?”

Libby drank from her beer, licked her lips gathering some drops that had stayed around her mouth and swerved to the left, leaving the main road and taking another, secondary road, which was in dreadful condition.

“This contact evolved gradually, first in congresses and later due to my academic reality. The Latin American center of studies has a budget that includes scholarships for the development of new lessons. I got one in January, 2009 to give an English lesson about Latin American SF, using the Latin Cosmos anthology, organized by Andrea Bell and Yolanda Molina-Gavilán. As it was mainly consisted of Hispanic American short-stories – the only Brazilian representatives were Jerônimo Monteiro, André Carneiro e Braulio Tavares – I decided to supplement it with Brazilian short-stories translated to English, a series of Latin American SF films and the Bolivian Novel Turing’s Delirium by Edmundo Paz-Soldán.

She slowed down, making me feel calmer. After all, she was driving at more than sixty miles an hour in a vicinal road that couldn’t take more than thirty.

“Alfredo Suppia helped me with the Brazilian films,” she continued, “and I invited two more speakers from the Hispanic American SF area, Rachel Haywood Ferreira e J. Andrew Brown. The experience resulted in an article that will be in Teaching Science Fiction, by Peter Wright and Andy Sawyer, published by Palgrave. That was how I started to see common lines between Hispanic American and Brazilian SF. Notwithstanding superficial, I can say that the history, the generations and the divisions are similar. The first moment would correspond to the first wave, with the atomic times seen from the periphery, fantasies of inverted colonization – the colonized or alien beating the colonizer – and a pessimism or mistrust regarding technology. In the 70’s and 80’s we can see reactions to dictatorship in sexual metaphors, one of the constants in the Brazilian dystopia and in the productions from the 90’s on, more cyberpunk and the theme of violence, but with regional or national variations.

She stopped the car after 200 meters, drank all the beer from the can and threw it out of the car. She looked in the distant, studying the way and more thoroughly the mountainous elevations we were approaching.

“In the South Cone, for example, the cyborg is the tortured being”, she resumed answering, “dilacerated. In Mexico the implanted cyborg is the worker, victim of the big corporations. From what I saw in Chile, there are assassin and vampire cyborgs using violence as a means of revenge or exorcism of the past, and there is also a New Weird trend combining the grotesque representation of the body with traces of SF and horror, which might have aspects in common with the new generation of Brazilian writers. Here in the USA, where the Spanish language has a bigger projection, my desire of comprising new areas and working more with Spanish and post graduation students is understandable.”

She opened one more can, stepped on the gas and went back to the road, keeping a moderate speed.

“This would also help the Spanish program, since there aren’t enough teachers and lessons to serve students in an appropriate manner. That’s why I ran for a scholarship for “betterment” let’s say, in January this year, with the idea of traveling to Chile, improving my Spanish and finally, teaching about Latin American FC in Spanish in the future. Another reason for this scholarship was to do research, or better saying, to edit a series of articles of reviews and theory of the Latin American SF with J. Andrew Brown. We shared the work, with him organizing the Hispanic American texts and I the Brazilian ones. This way, we’ll have a review book on the Latin American FC in English. He was also part of the congress in Chile, where the American and Argentinean writer Mike Wilson organized the event at the PUC in Chile.

“Are you through?” I asked ironically after her discourse.

“This question, yes.”

“The omniscient voice said the Road we were on was called something like extraterrestrial road, why is that?”

“Have you heard of the Area 51?”

“Who hasn’t?”

Libby didn’t answer back and that kept pounding in my head, but for a short while. We were in the Nevada Desert, she had said before. Area 51 was there. It sank in.

“This mission you mentioned,” I hemmed, “has nothing to do with this super secret base, has it?”

“What’s the second question?”

I looked at the saguaros and the dry bushy vegetation. The mountains were close, very close. The dust filled the cabin of the car. Libby’s evident change of subject made me nervous, but nevertheless, I asked her the next question.

“Qualitatively speaking, is it possible to compare the good names of the Brazilian SF with authors from the American, English, French, Russian and German SF, which are countries with strong tradition in this niche? In this aspect, I mean, in literary quality, is it possible to affirm that our literature is historically evolving in such a way that it can follow the quality of the productions in these countries?”

She stepped on the breaks and took the car slowly out of the Road. She parked a hundred meters ahead, near a rocky formation.

“As ideas spread and divulge themselves quickly, I don’t believe in “cultural delay”. There are differences in markets and traditions. Does a country need science to write science fiction? Can an economically peripheral country have direct knowledge of a genre that emerged in more technologically advanced countries? In Latin America of the 19th century, the Latin American elites took advantage of the hegemonic discourse of science as the authoritarian language of knowledge, self-knowledge and legitimization, what Augusto Emilio Zaluar, amongst others, used to justify the idea of progress and civilization; an extension of the colonial project.”

She stopped talking for a moment to open the third can of beer. The speed with which she finished one after the other impressed me.

“Look, in 2008, John Rieder published a book Colonialism and the Emergence of Science Fiction by Wesleyan UP, discussing texts from the 19th century which were unknown of the genre, showing that the origins of SF are profoundly connected to the colonial discourse. Many of the texts mentioned by Rieder are not the classics of the genre, conversely, they are unknown texts, but yet show a general tendency of the justification of “conquer” or of “civilization”. So, there is a myth about better quality. Maybe it’s a matter of percentages, market and tradition.

“From the Latin American side, Rachel Haywood Ferreira’s book – The Emergence of Latin American Science Fiction, published by Weleyan, forthcoming 2010 – confirms that the SF wasn’t an imported genre for writers of the 19th century, but texts weren’t between the national classics, or even recognized as SF. Roberto de Sousa Causo also mines the origins of the genre in Brazil, documenting the production of the the 19th century until the middle of the 20th century in Ficção Cientifica, Fantasia e Horror no Brasil, 1875-1850 (Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror in Brazil, 1875-1950), published by UFMG in 2003. These researches marked the first step in studies of marginal writing, the historical recovery – the feminists did the same to consolidate their field of study. As to quality, I find it subjective. I reckon some short-stories by André Carneiro, Rubens Teixeira Scavone, Dinah Silveira de Queiroz are comparable to Bradbury for example. I find the differences interesting, as in the novel Fuga para parte alguma (Escape to Nowhere) by Jerônimo Monteiro, which shows the victory of the ants against humanity, a very different ending from the American film Them in which the hero James Arness beats the plague. The reality is the same, the atomic war, however the vision is different. Maybe I can speak of Brazilian contemporary SF tendencies. There are many writers that fit into the fantastic and literary line, others associated with fantasy, hard SF or other alternative stories. Most of them write in all sub-genres. There are many original and versatile writers that are being more and more renowned. New names are emerging, with teachers and authors writing and motivating the new generation. The online magazines have been growing. There are sub-genres of pure fantasy, horror, vampire, cyberpunk, SF written by women, texts for all tastes are available. I can’t say if there is a way to compare. One must first read and know what is done in European and Anglo American SF to be able to compare to what is written in Brasil.”

She got out of the car, quickly stretching her legs. Then, she went to the trunk. I also got off the car in time to see her take the box of junk out and put it on the floor, in front of her. I came closer, curiously, and observed her while she scoured it. She took two oblong metal objects from it and gave me one of them.

“And what is it for?” I asked curiously while analyzing the object.

She pointed what she had in her hands to the open area ahead of us and pushed what seemed to be a soft concavity on the metal surface. A shock wave made stones, bushes and a saguaro fly, ripping everything from the floor as if a tornado had just passed by. I was astonished.

She went back to the box, took a belt from there which she put around her waist and some other apparatus. She put them in specific bags in her belt. Even not knowing their purpose, I was already respecting them with a certain solemnity.

“Where did you get this fascinating stuff? What technology is that?”

“Where I came from there are much more impressive things. These are just children’s toys.”

“Where did you come from after all?”

Libby didn’t answer, she looked at the nearer mountainous elevation and signaled me to follow her. We went on a mild climbing towards the top which we reached in about fifteen minutes. While climbing, I wondered what I was getting myself into and especially whom I was dealing with.

She bent forward and I did the same. I looked at the other side and spotted a military base around two or three kilometers ahead of us. A fence was bounding it, no more than two hundred meters away, right after the foot of the mountain.

“Behold the famous Nellis Base,” Libby whispered.

“Are we invading it?” I asked in a nervous gasp. I felt it was exactly what was going to happen.

“We are!” Libby answered enthusiastically.

“We’ll be seen. With luck, we’ll be arrested and prosecuted. Or worse, strafed.”

“Don’t be a pessimistic.”

“At least tell me what we’re doing. I guess I have the right to know before I risk my neck.”

Libby smiled, gazed at the clear sky and after a moment she replied.

“Rescue an invaluable alien artifact which has been in this base since its construction.”

I limited myself to remain quiet, looking at her in bewilderment.

“Something was discovered by a spelunker in a grotto in one of these mountains. The military rounded the area to avoid curious people to approach and little by little they militarized it until they turned it into this base. They couldn’t find out how it works or how to access it so far. They have a mistaken understanding of its utility.”

“Alien?” I finally asked.

“We spent a lot of time waiting for the opportunity to be able to invade it and retrieve what belongs to us. In natural conditions, this would be a fated to failure mission, but this watch of yours gave us the answer. This mission has all it takes to be well succeeded in a parallel reality. And here we are.”

“It’s been some years since your book was released in Brasil. From that time to now, there was a reactivation of the national SF, with brand new authors and editors investing in the genre. How do they fit in the thesis defended by the book?” I asked suddenly, in a trial to change the subject and, perhaps, speed up the end of the interview and leave before further nonsense was said and done.

Libby took a machine from the belt and adjusted some controls. I heard a buzz before she put it back in. Then she stood up and waved in order to make me follow her down the mountain.

“You’re out of your mind!” I cried, frightened by that descent. “We’ll be seen! We’re on anyone’s sight. There is surveillance!”

“Calm down,” she said stilly. “No one can see us. Not even lizards, nor tarantulas, or coyotes. We’re covered by an electromagnetic mantle that grants us invisibility.”

I didn’t try to understand. I didn’t ask how that artifact worked, or who Libby actually was in fact. I was too scared to think straight.

“We’re sixty eight thousand on Earth” she said as if she could anticipate my doubts. “One thousand four hundred and twenty only in Brazil. Three hundred and fifteen in Rio de Janeiro, one of them in Pinheiral!”

I choked.

“You’re not suggesting that Jorge Luis Calife.. that he… he is? Is he?”

Libby didn’t answer, restraining herself to keeping an enigmatic smile on her lips. She stayed like that, as if she was feeling delighted by those revelations until we got to the fence which was, obviously, electrified.

“My book is connected to a historical and cultural matter. As SF portrays attitudes related to the modernization seen in the intersection of the icons or subgenres of the SF and the cultural Brazilian myths,” she started answering while she took a small brazing pistol from her belt. At least, that is what it seemed to me under a superficial analysis. “It is clear that with the globalization and the popularity of fantasy and of other subgenres; Steampunk, Vampires, New Weird, in Brazil, there is this idea of surpassing national limits; that the world of SF is transnational, like that old question of cosmopolitanism versus nationalism. I am glad about the new interest on the genre, because when I started my research on the post-dictatorship SF, around 2000, I found a certain dismay after the euphoria of the 90’s and the appearance of fandom and the second wave of writers.

“Therefore, I reckon there are traces or vestiges of a Brazilian nature or perspectives that arise from a culture, and that, for me, are of bigger interest, although the author might be writing about other culture or setting the text in another country. For example – and the example is not of the most original, that’s why I am not a writer – I can imagine an American SF author writing about the invasion of the region of the Amazon, but Roberto de Sousa Causo’s or Gerson Lodi-Ribeiro’s idea of dividing Brazil or teaming it up with other countries of the region and change the politics, seems to me like a Latin American perspective, an inside-out vision, or at least a non-hegemonic vision. So, I find the combination of a versatile genre interesting, supposedly imported, inside a perspective of Brazilian authors. I read the Steampunk tale by Jacques Barcia Uma vida possível atrás das barricadas (A life behind the barricades), released in 2009, and I found the idea of a Golem and an automat wanting to have children enthralling.

The short-story Julgamentos (Trials), from 1993, by Cid Fernandez deals with cyborgs that wish for the same. I haven’t seen many texts in English dealing with this theme, the cyborg represents the crisis of roles of genre, or the post-genre being. In Chilian and Argentinian FC, as I mentioned before, the cyborg many times represents a manner to understand torture, while in Mexico, the cyborg stands for the economical crisis in the work market.

For me this is fascinating. My article The Post-human in Third Wave Brazilian Science Fiction, translated by Cesar Silva, will be in the Anuário Brasileiro de Literatura Fantástica (Brazilian Yearbook of Fantastic Literature), that approaches exactly this question of historical antecedents, transnational SF and so on. To my mind, there are still traces of Brazilian nature in this new wave, and maybe that is my view, or that is what I see. Of course there are other perspectives, different approaches. My interests reflect my values and my preferences, so as a foreign researcher, I want to see what is different in there.”

She then pointed the strange gun to the fence and fired a blue ray of wide reach. What was once metal, turned into a formless steamy substance melting on the ground. We heard a siren in the distance. We moved forward side by side until two military jeeps appeared, coming nearer. Libby held me by the arm, signaling to me in order to make me stay quiet. The jeeps went by us in all haste. I was perplexed. Soldiers got off them and started looking at the damage. They gesticulated and communicated through radios. We left, walking carefully, trying not to make any noise or raise any dust.

We approached new quarters. Big hangars sided our path. Military and regular vehicles were parked. A landing road with two big aircrafts stood on our right, not further than a hundred meters away. It was pure illusion to trust that we would get in there without any trouble. Soldiers soon appeared. We were forced to hide behind gallons, flanking walls, doing everything we could not to be on anyone’s or any vehicle’s way. They couldn’t see us, but still could collide with us, which wasn’t a good idea.

“On the other side there is a mountain and inside it, a grotto. It goes down hundreds of meters into the stone. An internal chamber shelters the artifact I told you of. It is placed behind practically unassailable doors, protected by top notch security systems and kept by heavily armed and very well trained soldiers.

“And we are rescuing it?” I asked in evident perplexity.

“Yes, isn’t it exciting?”

“And how do you plan to go through the obstacles? Squeezing around walls until you get there?” My greatest concern was with the omniscient narrator. I was frightened with the thought that it could suddenly come, in the middle of the action, giving our positions away.

Libby smiled victoriously and drew the oblong metal object. I choked just to think of the perspectives. She pushed me by the arm, pointed the way we should take and pressed the button. It was a festival of soldiers, stones and jeeps being thrown to the sides in a violent blow. She prompted me to run and that was exactly what I did. I drew my object, and held it in my hand while we ran, pressing the button eventually and having fun with the sight of things and people flying. We soon heard shots, which were given without a proper direction. They didn’t know who or where to shoot. We soon escaped from the central area, went into more narrow trails in between warehouses and then we finally descried the so called mountain. It was right in front of us.

There was a ramp protected by a barbed wire fence and a sentry-box where two soldiers were standing. Electronic gate, nothing we couldn’t melt or blow aside. The entrance allowed two light vehicles to go through. A big steel floodgate, apparently automatic, was the entrance to the grotto. I wouldn’t be surprised to find an entire underground city inside of it. Libby avoided the main entrance. She approached a side one and fired her ray pistol in the fence. As we expected, the two soldiers left their posts, pointed the guns to the area near the hole and fired trying to hit something they couldn’t see. We went through the gateway without greater risks and ran ramp up.

It was a silent entrance.

We saw nothing but a kind of antechamber before a large central wall with elevators. There were broad, high side corridors but Libby paid no attention to them.

“Do you intend to press the button and go down calmly?” I asked not avoiding being sarcastic.

“Of course not,” she replied. “These elevators are not moved by regular buttons. An alphanumeric code must be typed in the front panel and retina scanning must be allowed. We haven’t got time for all that.”

She grabbed a gadget in her belt and turned a knob on it while the big steel floodgate, set from outside, closed behind us. A faint yellowish light lit up the door of one of the elevators. The metal seemed to wave. Libby put her hand closer and touched it. It seemed to be liquefied.

“The effect lasts a few minutes,” she said. “We’ll jump in. There is a pit inside, the fall is approximately eight hundred meters. As the elevators move with electromagnetic power, they unfortunately cause conflict with my equipment. We’ll be visible while going down. I believe the same will happen once we hit the floor.

“Are we jumping?” I asked in perplexity. “Into the void? We’ll be crushed!”

Libby caught a box from inside her girdle. Turned a small lever – so prosaic, I doubted it could be alien -, pushed a button and put it back in her belt. She grabbed me in a tight hug and threw herself against the door of the elevator, dragging me with her. We crossed it as if we were crossing a water door.

And we fell. Vertiginously. But not as fast as I was imagining we would. It gave me the impression that we were being held by invisible ropes or nets. We went through the extremely dark empty hole, seeing nothing, in such a moderate speed that Libby had time to look for a flashlight which had a very powerful light beam and using it, she could finally light what seemed to be the end of the dive.

“Is there any other question?” She asked. I was too astonished to remember the interview.

“Yes,” I said.

“Ask away then. But promise you won’t press the button before I have the artifact we came to fetch in my possession.”

“I do,” I answered, feeling scared about the commitment. “The release of a new book of yours is due to this year in Brazil, by Devir. Tell me about this new non-fiction work.”

Visão Alienígena (Alien view) plays with the idea of my foreign condition and with the strangeness theme, I mean, seeing Brazil through the sight of SF. It offers a picture of my articles since the 80’s until nowadays. When I wrote my doctorate thesis, I worked especially with the genres of dystopia and with the fantastic stories as reaction to the policy of dictatorship.

“Later, when developing this one more initial work was possible, I started to research on SF from the 90’s on. The new book gathers twelve articles or essays. My first article is longer and summarizes the method used in my book, taking advantage of other examples which I had no time, space or knowledge to include in the book of 2005. There is a little of everything – I organized the essays in categories: icons of the SF, robots, cyborgs and the city, subgenres of SF, alternative stories, hard SF or fantasy, dictatorship and SF, the fantastic stories and dystopia and Brazilian SF female writers. Four articles are unpublished. So, as a whole, I deal with the work of the following authors: Levy Meneses, Guido Wilmar Sassi, Dinah Silveira de Queiroz, Rubens Teixeira Scavone, Jorge Luiz Calife, Braulio Tavares, Gerson Lodi-Ribeiro, Ivanir Calado, Henrique Flory, Cid Fernández, Daniel Fresnot, Marien Calixte, José dos Santos Fernandes, Octávio Aragão, Fábio Fernandes, Adriana Simon, Simone Saueressig, Júlio Emílio Braz, Marcia Kupstas, Martha Argel, Helena Gomes, Luiz Roberto Mee, Orlando Paes Filho, Mariana Albuquerque, Michelle Klautau, Finisia Fideli, Carlos Orsi, Roberto de Sousa Causo, André Carneiro, Murilo Rubião, José J. Veiga, among others.

“The new article about the post-human that will be in the Yearbook includes references to texts of Felipe Tazzo, Cristina Lasaitis, Octavio Aragão and Goulart Gomes. An article that will be released next month by Luso-Brazilian Review is about the transgender beings in SF and Brazilian SF&F since the times of Machado de Assis. I guess my next book will deal more with the texts of the new generation, mainly in my analysis on cyborgs and clones. To see what my fellow Andrew Brown has been researching, check the index of the book he has released. He deals more with Hispanic American slipstream. The address is http://us.macmillan.com/cyborgsinlatinamerica. Andrew told me that in his book, the Latin America does not include Brazil, so he recommended that I continued with the theme. As to the writers of the new generation, the article published in pair with Causo about the story of Brazilian SF was out in the most recent edition of the Extrapolation magazine 51.1, 2010, 13-39. There we talked about the Third Wave, Gaming, Horror, Fantasy, the New Weird and Graphic Novel. Some new tendencies and authors are there. We finished the article in 2008, but it’s only just been released.”

We then landed calmly on the roof of the elevator that was in the underground. Libby turned the antigravity device off and used the liquefied walls maker again. We fell into the elevator, standing, although I almost hit my bottom in the ground because of a slip. She held the oblong object and warned me that the action would really start now.

“Try to find a place to hide as soon as we’re out. Remember you promised not to press the button on your watch. And don’t worry about me. What I came for is an interdimensional transportation. With it, I can get rid of this alternate reality and come back to our own. Too bad it can only be used by one person.”

As soon as the door of the elevator turned into water, she pressed the button of the object. A violent chock wave burst into the place at the same time we jumped out. We found ourselves in a wide chamber; the roof was so high it would take a helicopter to reach it. We fired while we moved forward. The broad spectre of that small weapon was surprising. Men floated in the air, falling down many meters ahead, feeling dazzled. Bullets were sent back by the shock waves. I ran and hid behind some boxes while Libby went towards a… I was astonished. Two dark gray dishes capsized against each other. It had about 40 meters of diameter. A flying saucer! That is what it was, a flying saucer! She kept on shooting. When she approached the spaceship, a ramp which hadn’t been used or discovered in years, came down softly. She got in and disappeared inside of it, but not before waving back at me. I continued feeling astonished, looking at that wonder, unaware of the dangers I was exposing myself to.

The interdimensional airship started to vibrate softly, emanating lights that seemed to come from its surface. All the soldiers around it moved back, unsure of what to do. They only observed, astounded, that ship after so many years become operational. But the ones who imagined nothing could happen due to the fact that it was constrained into an underground chamber, had never asked themselves how it had gotten there in the first place. The spaceship lifted in the air a good couple of meters high, span round its own axis a couple of times and then, in a pop, it vanished. They were so surprised they didn’t realize there was another intruder hiding only a few meters away from where they were.

My worst fears came true. I cursed the omniscient narrator that made to dozens of armed and furious soldiers turn back in my direction. They would have continued not knowing of my presence was it not for this unexpected and stupid interference. But I was quicker than the bullets that made the boxes blow. I pressed the button on the watch and went back home.

Delfim, Marcello Branco and Jorge Luis Calife collaborated with this interview.