Wednesday, November 2, 2022

“Warranty Claim” • by Gustavo Bondoni


A shiny metal disc streaked through the sky before descending in front of Sergeant Murphy, a twenty-year veteran who just happened to be crossing the parking lot. 

As soon as he saw it, he buried his face in his hands. “Not these guys again.” He’d been on duty when these particular aliens had first come to Earth, and had been part of the initial talks.

The major he’d been walking alongside ran off, presumably to inform the upper brass of the visit. That would be unnecessary: every inch of Area 59 was filmed and wired for sound. Washington already knew what was happening.

The ship disgorged several blue-skinned aliens in silver spacesuits. 

“You are the one they call Murphy, correct?  The one we met the last time we were here?” the leader asked.


“This is broken.”

It held out a slim silver rectangle with the well-known company logo, a fruit, on it.

“It’s probably the battery,” Murphy said.

“Can it be changed?”

“No. They make them that way so you have to buy a new one.”

“No good. You need to fix this immediately. We’re in an argument about whether alien life forms can be Communist Nazis. We tried opening a new account, but the website refuses to acknowledge our ship’s operating system.”

“I can’t help.”

The leader sighed. “Do you want us to destroy your planet?”


“These are our demands”


“Silence! We demand you get the experts at this computer company to fix our laptop.”

“That could take a while.” After a moment’s thought, Murphy responded: “Will you at least let me work through the problem with IT support?”

“As long as you get it fixed.”

Murphy sighed in relief. That should  buy the Joint Chiefs of Staff time to get something done.




Gustavo Bondoni is novelist and short story writer with over three hundred stories published in fifteen countries, in seven languages.  He is a member of Codex and an Active Member of SFWA. His latest novel is Test Site Horror (2020). He has also published two other monster books: Ice Station: Death (2019) and Jungle Lab Terror (2020), three science fiction novels: Incursion (2017), Outside (2017) and Siege (2016) and an ebook novella entitled Branch. His short fiction is collected in Pale Reflection (2020), Off the Beaten Path (2019) Tenth Orbit and Other Faraway Places (2010) and Virtuoso and Other Stories (2011).
In 2019, Gustavo was awarded second place in the Jim Baen Memorial Contest and in 2018 he received a Judges Commendation (and second place) in The James White Award. He was also a 2019 finalist in the Writers of the Future Contest.
His website is at