Pandora by Alan Rodgers
Mass Market Paperback, 371 pages
Mass Market Paperback, 371 pages
There's a story that goes 'round about strange events outside Roswell, New Mexico, and how they led to a hangar in Ohio and the three dead aliens that lie stored inside it. Most everyone has heard the tale at one time or another. And because it goes 'round the way it does - metamorphosing ever so slightly with every retelling - some people say the tale is nothing but a scrap of modern folklore; a legend alive in every bar and coffee house across the land.
Pandora knows better. Pandora knows all about the strange events outside Roswell - and she knows even more about the stranger ones that followed. She knows that there weren't three dead aliens in the wreckage of the doomed ship. Not three, but four. Three dead adults and a single living, breathing infant. That infant was Pandora. Years now the government has raised her in captivity, unknowable and secret inside a classified Air Force Facility in Ohio.
This morning Pandora escaped in the dark dark hours before dawn. And through the miracle of modern satellite television, all the world has seen her. And the government wants her back.
The crash of an alien flying saucer at Roswell did result in the death of three aliens, but also the survival of one alien infant, whom the government names Pandora. She is hidden away in a secret bunker in Ohio. Even though Pandora is over 40 years old, she is still a child because time is distorted around her - she isn't moving through time the same way we do. Then an incident happens that causes Pandora to escape from her captors and the survival of the Earth may hang in the balance.
At the beginning of each chapter Rodger's mentions a modern myth or urban legend, for example: Roswell, the devil in a malls basement, zombies, UFOs, crop circles, haunted trains, and an alien invasion. The chapter then ties in the myth he mentions to the story of Pandora. This organization of the chapters has the capacity to be clever, but I'm sorry to say that once Pandora made her way to a shopping mall, started shopping, and kept calling herself a little space alien girl who is looking for her daddy, I could no longer take the story seriously. It became a comedy for me.
Despite my viewing the novel now as a comedy rather than sci fi/horror, it was intended to be, it certainly a compelling, entertaining story and kept my interest - and laughter. If you happen to find a copy, as I did in the clearance section of the local used book store, I'd recommend it as an entertaining book, but don't go out of your way to find it.
There is a place out in the middle of Nowhere New Mexico that the federal authorities absolutely refuse to discuss. opening
"They're wrong, you know. about those Aliens in the hangar on the air base in Ohio. There aren't three of them."
"Yes. There are three and a half." pg. 2
"I don't know what you did to bring this duty down on yourself. But before you throw any tantrums, remember that every single one of us here in the Pandora Project is in the same damn boat you're in. The brass who put you here aren't around to hear you swearing. The truth is that they don't even want to know about it." pg. 6
He is in the narrow room for fifteen minutes when he looks up through the door to see Pandora enter the clerk's office.
Nothing he has read to that point could possibly prepare him for the sight of her. pg. 7
She looks almost human. Mostly. But her eyes are enormous; great boopic saucerlike things five times the size of an ordinary child's eyes. pg. 7-8
"How old is she, anyway?"
The clerk equivocates. "She was born nearly forty years ago," he says, "but she's younger than that - the scientists say she isn't moving through time the way we do. And even if she were, she's an Alien, not a human - she isn't growing up the way an earth girl would." He shrugs. "Some ways she acts seventeen. Other ways she acts like a six-year-old." pg. 9
The time distortion that suffuses her admits - no demands - a physics that our theories and hypotheses don't imagine. Time, event, and cause all twist in her presence, and in no discernible pattern.
If the Enemy could master time and space, he could devour us. pg. 21
Shopping glorious shopping at the miracles and wonders piled high everywhere before her, inviting her, begging her to Buy! Buy! Buy! pg 72