There are a lot of things I miss from Earth. But the Beastie Boys are definitely not one of them.
Too bad for me, because the next morning, a crowd of aliens gathered around our cage, staring like we were exotic, dangerous zoo animals. Mac stood among them, gazing down at us with his round, amphibious eyes.
I yawned, barely awake. “What’s going on?” I asked him. “What time is it?”
A gleeful grin stretched across Mac’s face. He burst out rapping, of course. “My name is Mac D, I’ve got a license to kill. I think you know what time it is – it’s time to get ill!”
Yeah. I was starting to feel ill, all right.
I felt even worse when I figured out what Mac had planned. Apparently, people on this planet had been very entertained watching The Human Show live 24/7 on Bixsi TV. Aksel and I were celebrity freaks, broadcasting our miserable little lives via hidden cameras.
They know everything, Arvid had said. Did they know about Meiying, too? Did they know about the place with the spaceship, where our girls were hiding right now, waiting for our return? I shivered.
“Let the live show begin!” Mac said in a booming voice as the audience cheered. What live show, you ask? The one where Aksel and I were forced to participate in a series of stupid games and stunts while a mob of kooky-looking E.T.s egged us on.
Aksel’s hot-dog eating contest wasn’t too bad. As for me, Mac and Lennie forced me to walk across a bed of scorching hot coals while Mac beatboxed in the background. Talk about torture. The beatboxing, not the coals.
“This is the most retarded and humiliating thing I’ve ever had to do!” I said to Mac as I tried to cool the burned soles of my feet.
Mac frowned. “Retarded is a derogatory and insulting term, human.”
“Fine!” I screamed back. “This is the most riggamatarded thing I’ve ever had to do. Happy now?”
Mac regarded me, eyes narrowing. “Not quite.”
I guess he wasn’t too impressed with my outburst. Because the next thing I knew, Aksel and I were facing each other with swords. Like, sharp, actual swords.
“A fight to the death!” Mac announced.
My mouth dropped open. “Are you for real?” Apparently he was for real. Aksel and I had no choice. We had to swordfight until one of us died. Or else we both would die.
The thing is, there was no way on earth…or on Bixsi, that I was about to kill the love of my life. I’m pretty sure Aksel felt the same way. But still, we probably had to at least make it look like we were trying, right? So we picked up the swords (man, they were heavy!) and swung them back and forth, clinking them together the way swordfighters did on movies. We got away with this for a little while. But then, one of my blows was too hard, or Aksel was off balance. He staggered, then dropped to one knee.
“Finish him!” Mac roared, just like in a game of Mortal Kombat. The crowd took up the cry and began to chant. “Finish him! Finish him!” Which for a second, almost made me laugh, because Aksel is Finnish. Get it?
Okay, not the time for laughing, obvi. So I stood there, sword trembling in my sweaty hand, not knowing what the heck I should do next, when all of a sudden, this familiar face emerged from the crowd.
Everyone froze – apparently, they all recognized Arvid, too, thanks to the Human Show. Every eye was on him as he approached Mac.
Arvid caught my eye for a moment, then addressed Mac in a voice loud enough for all to hear. “I have a proposition for you,” he said.