Cheese and Root Beer Floats

April 8, 2008
By Becca McIlwain, Albany, IN

It was twelve o’clock noon. I’d been in my secret hiding spot for over five hours now. I was cramped, hungry, irritable, and I really had to pee. Being the amazing detective that I was, I knew that I couldn’t give up my position until the time was right. This was my most top-secret mission, and the whole human race was relying on me to conquer the monsters that were going to take over our planet. “How did a sixteen year old girl get in a situation such as this?” You might be wondering. Well, I’ll tell you.

There were a couple of factors that led to me being crammed into that small crevice of a hiding place. The first I blame on Nancy Drew. Yes, I am talking about the fictional story book character. When I was young I would read those books and play the video games until I got to the point where I could figure out who did it, when they did it, and why, even before Nancy herself could. I got tired of the easy simple cases of Nancy Drew, so I casually moved on to C.S.I.’s. Again, for awhile I enjoyed them, but I eventually got to the point where I could depict the murderer and all of his motives. From there, I moved on to real police cases. My father, a federal officer, would bring home his hardest cases, and I could always solve them within two days. His praise and adoration kept me pursuing more mysteries and cases.

The second I blame on my history teacher. History was something I had a natural knack for. When I was really young, my father and I would watch the Discovery Channel every night, and once I heard something pertaining to history I wouldn’t forget it. So in my history class I would bring the current mystery or case I was working on and try to work out the kinks. Well, my teacher didn’t like that at all. He labeled me as a slacker and a troublemaker. He would call on me in class when I clearly wasn’t paying attention- just to make me look bad and to prove his point- only to be angrily surprised when I could rattle off the answer to any question he would ask. He then decided that I must be cheating and never called on me again, which I was fine with. When I got my report card back and saw that I had an F in the class I freaked. I had passed every test with nothing less than an A- (essay’s weren’t my strong point) and never forgot to do an assignment. Then I saw he’d written a note, “No class participation, suspected of cheating. Summer school mandatory for credit.” Needless to say, being thrust into summer school for a subject that I excelled in was only asking me to get into some kind of trouble.

The third I blame on timing. If I had been at home that summer like every other normal kid- playing ball, watching movies, hanging with friends- I wouldn’t have been searching for a mystery that would entertain me and keep me busy. If my summer school teacher hadn’t let us research on the Internet on that particular day, then I wouldn’t have seen the alien signals. If my car hadn’t have broken down that very same day, I would have forgotten about the odd ticking from the computer instead of going back and exploring it. If I hadn’t, that very next day, hacked into the FBI headquarters’ main computer, I wouldn’t have been caught. Lastly, if I hadn’t laid out all of my completed federal cases all over my bedroom floor the night the FBI showed up, they wouldn’t have known about my unnatural mystery solving abilities. I guess in a way, you could say I was destined to be put onto the most important case of all time.

When the FBI barged into my house that evening, it was pretty much the start of the rest of my life. Of course, they thought my father was the one who had done the hacking. I let them question him for awhile before I casually said, “It was me, and I’d recommend putting up a better fire wall.” Some laughed, some looked at me oddly, but none actually believed me until I, in common terms, broke down the exact way to do it. Then the onslaught rained down, heavily. Questions where thrown at me left and right. I answered them all calmly and rationally. Then they searched my room, probably to see if there was someone feeding me answers or something, and that’s when they saw my cases. I was hired on the spot.

They took me to their headquarters and I was questioned by the Secretary of State. Our conversation went something like this:


“Becca McIlwain.”



“Who are you working for?”

“No one.”

“Who showed you how to hack?”

“No one.”

“What information did you gain from our main computers?”

“All of it…but I was only concerned with the alien information.”


“Because I think I received a transmission from them.”

“Whose completed federal cases did we find all over your room?”


“Who showed you how to solve such elaborate cases?”

“Nancy Drew.”

Then he laughed deeply and shook my hand. “Welcome aboard Miss McIlwain.” I was now a FBI agent.

I was then put in charge of figuring out whom these transmissions were from and what they said. It was a long and grueling process; probably the most fun I’d had in years. Finally I was being challenged. I had some difficulties along the way, mostly dealing with people who didn’t want to take orders from a sixteen year old girl, but I quickly put them in their place. After a month of constant work and deliberation, we found what we were searching for. They were called Gillians from the planet Venus. They were to arrive on August third at twelve o’clock noon at Harlington Park, which was conveniently right down my road. But the reason why they were coming was something we couldn’t agree on. We had it narrowed down to three options. Number One: they were here to take over Earth. Number Two: they simply wanted to communicate with us. Number Three: they wanted a large amount of cheese and root beer floats. Of course, considering the nature of the human race, nearly everyone opted for Number One. There were a few peace lovers that said Number Two was the answer. Then there was me, yes unfortunately, I was the one who said that they wanted cheese and root beer floats. I know that it sounds outrageously ridiculous, but that’s what I interpreted from the first signals they sent to me while I was at school.

I’m sure you can imagine what happened over the next few weeks of preparation, so I won’t go into that. I was nominated to be the one to await their arrival and to make first communication with them. Seem as odd to you as it did to me? Anyway around it, I was the one that had to do the dirty work. So I went into the park and found the perfect spot to wait; inside a hallowed out tree trunk. It was there that I waited the five and some hours of pure torture.

At exactly twelve o’clock noon a loud rumbling sounded and bright lights shone down right in front of the tree where I was hiding. The sound of twigs snapping and leaves being blown rang through the air and then suddenly, with a thud, a huge spaceship landed. I slowly crept out of my hiding place and stood up straight, anticipating the worst. The door to the ship slowly opened and a voice beckoned me forward. Without hesitation, I made my way into the ship. I followed arrows on the ground that led me to a large room filled with couch like furniture and tables. At one of the couches two Gillians sat. They were large creatures, in both height and weight, and their skin had a purple tint to it. They had no noses, just two slits, and their eyes were a yellowish color. They’re mouths curled in a way that made them look like they were always smiling, but despite their strange appearance, they weren’t scary at all. One of them gestured for me to take a seat across from them, so I did.

“Hello.” I said meekly as I sat down.

The bigger of the two began, “My name is Rilic and this is Vilic. We are Gillians from the planet…”

“Venus.” I interrupted.

“You understood my transmissions?” The small and seemingly younger Gillian, Vilic, asked.

“Yes, it took awhile but we were able to decipher them over time.”

“Told you!” Vilic shouted with triumph to Rilic.

“We were a little confused on what you were coming here for.” I said slowly, apprehensive of what their answer might be.

“On Venus we don’t have many of the luxuries that you here on Earth are blessed with. Our Queen has seen many things and had the chance of tasting a few. Now she is with child and is having unnatural cravings. We were sent to find what she so desperately desires.” Rilic explained slowly with a heavy accent.

“Cheese and root beer floats?” I guessed with a grin.

“Indeed.” Rilic answered.

“I think we can help you with that!” I said with a laugh, “but I have a question. Where did you learn to speak English?”

“The World Wide Web.” Vilic said with a wide smile.

“He spends way too much time online.” Rilic said with a shake of his head, “but I suppose some good did come out of it.”

“Yes, some did.” I said. “Now if you give me some time, I’m sure I can get you what you came her for. I’ll be back in a flash.”

I then left the ship, found the anxiously awaiting FBI agents, told them what the Gillians wanted (of course adding in that I was right all along), and then sprinted back onboard to talk with Rilic and Vilic some more. The cheese and root beer floats arrived shortly after and with a sorrowful goodbye, the Gillians once again returned to Venus.

I was given a cash reward and a job with the FBI. Now I do the work I was destined to do from the very beginning. I solve some of the worlds most confusing and troubling cases. But the thing I most proud of is saving the human race from attacking the peaceful Gillians and making life-long friends with Rilic and Vilic. Maybe, if I’m extra good, my father will let me go visit them on Venus next summer.

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