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Claire was bad at maths, Iffah at science and Kevin at social interactions. But none of that mattered, because together they were the ultimate team for the job. Tasked with saving the world from an impending alien attack, the trio sat in the abandoned Hargrave-Andrew library of Monash University, devising their next move.

The Earth had acted quickly in the face of its approaching doom. The alien ship appeared in the sky at 5:32pm Eastern standard time on Sunday the 26th of March and by Monday the 27th of August the following year, the world’s leaders had finally reached the consensus that they should probably do something. An eviction notice of sorts had already been sent via transmission from the alien ship. And while no one could translate the message, the mixture of aggressive static and grunts heard, were enough to finally convince the suit-wearers of the world that the situation was serious.

After rigorous standardised testing, three individuals world-wide were selected to save the human race. Coincidentally, all three happened to be Australian students enrolled at Monash University. The Clayton campus was shut indefinitely for the duration of the alien threats and the team was allowed to freely roam the campus, with unlimited access to all university resources. The world was watching, anxiously waiting for these bright young kids to save the world, or for the aliens to finally invade. The former was preferred.

Every five minutes Claire tapped at the keys on her Macbook, informing the world via twitter of their progress and her obsession with teacup Pomeranians. So far there hadn’t been much to report, but they were trending at number one with the hashtag #somewhereinaustralia, so that was progress. Sitting across from Claire was Iffah, the smart one of the group.

Iffah clicked out of the page she had just been reading and reached for the “physics for dummies” textbook on the table in front of her. So far all she’d found were numerous articles referencing Star Trek, Doctor Who and Stargate. She was starting to question the legitimacy of her resources, but the educational programmed Farscape seemed reliable, at least it wasn’t vaguely familiar like the others. She was going to follow up on it.

Kevin, sat on the front half of his seat next to Iffah, hunched over a small workbook, scribbling random equations and doodles (the penis kind). He’d been at it for the past 5 hours, over which he’d had to switch writing hands seven times. He couldn’t write with his left, but his hand writing hadn’t been the best before, so illegible was a slight improvement. “I’ve got it!” announced Kevin, rising from his chair so quickly the table wobbled and his chair fell back crushing a cockroach to death.

“I’ve got it! I’ve found a way to humanly get rid of the aliens!” Kevin’s face had never been so red and he no longer had full control of his hand gestures, yet he continued. “All we have to do is reverse the polarity and crank up the volume of every wind turbine in the world.” His arms flapped about here and there, making grand gestures at the wrong intervals. “Then, we turn on all the heaters we have and set fire to the forests. The aliens will see the planet as being too hot and leave us alone”. Kevin picked up his chair and sat back down, exhausted from both the physical and emotional strength it took for him to stand up and deliver his speech.

Claire liked the idea and sent out a tweet. Iffah on the other hand wasn’t too keen on the plan. ‘What if the aliens are unaffected by increased temperatures or they prefer warmer environments?” She asked and with that the team was back to square one. Kevin started to cry and Claire announced a team break.

The big idea came during the team break. Kevin was in the bathroom and had been for the past 30 minutes, Iffah was eating a banana and Claire was on YouTube. Claire was trying to find something to watch, something that didn’t involve aliens, when she came across ‘THE BEST OF FRIENDS – SEASON 1’. Claire had been a big Friends fan when she was 13 and to watch it again brought back so many memories, mainly of going through puberty and failing year 7 English, but also all the good stuff. And then the idea came.

“Guys! Guys! I have an idea!”

Kevin rushed out of the bathroom and Iffah swallowed her banana whole. “What is it?” They collectively asked.

And so Claire explained her idea, the group agreed and put it into action straight away. The team compiled a collection of Friends episodes, deemed to be the best, and then transmitted them up to the alien ship.

The response wasn’t immediate, the aliens had to first watch the 960 hours’ worth of video and then process the information. But eventually the desired outcome transpired. Through watching their social interactions and how they cared for each other, the aliens gained an appreciation for the human race and decided not to invade. The alien ship left in search of another planet, one a little less occupied, and the trio were celebrated as heroes and the world got back to normal.

Ina Lee

The author Ina Lee

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