A Crashing Defeat

“I am a human, and I am here to repair my automotive vehicle,” Penny began, leaning her elbow on the counter with a mischievous smirk. “If you could let the nearest human mechanic know so we can begin the currency transaction.”

She looked back at Dave who was grimacing as he hurriedly glanced between Penny and the young receptionist. The receptionist sighed in a way that sounded like she was absentmindedly watching a TV show that they couldn’t see on the wall behind them. 

“I’ll be with you in a few moments,” she said, years of customer service straining on each word. For the wild look that Penny was giving her, she was being incredibly patient and professional. 

Dave felt his cheeks redden as she disappeared into the back to look for an available mechanic. Morayfield was suburbs away from where he lived, and he still felt the wave of second-hand embarrassment wash over him.

“Humans don’t speak like that,” he hissed at her when they were finally alone. Penny dramatically draped an arm around his shoulder, pulling him in for a bone-breaking half-hug. 

She blinked but not with her eyelids. Instead, two slim screens slid over her pupils with a wet sloshing noise. 

It reminded him of a frog. Worse, it reminded him that she was an alien. “I told you you could only do your strange vehicle inspections near me! You should’ve waited until I got home.”

Penny waved him off, releasing him to lean against the counter again. “The car was already broken; my inspection probably only improved it.” 

He bristled. It most definitely was her fault. When he had returned home, his car had been floating in the air and the engine had been glowing. He had raced up to observe the damage as it fell. The steering wheel had broken, the suspension was wrecked, and his dashboard’s check engine light had been replaced with weird, alien symbols. 

It was in desperate need of repairs. The worst part, he had just brought it in for a service the week prior. Penny hadn’t said sorry – she had been too excited to get to take it to a ‘real human car workshop’ as she called it.

He sighed. “Next time, don’t touch my car.”