The Complications of Life

Chapter One

By: Nightelfcrawler

Disclaimer: I do not own, merely covet adoringly.

Authors' note: All right, I've given in. I've finally delved into mech/mech pairings, thanks to a certain reader (yes, you know who you are! ^_~) Nonetheless, I plan to stay strictly tasteful. This story does have a slash background between two characters, however nothing detailed shall happen in this story. That will be reserved for a side-story tied to this one, so feel free to read without fear if you don't care for slash pairings. For those that do, enjoy as well. And yes, I know I should be working on How it Will Be. I HAVE started it. I just keep getting distracted!

This is a re-telling of the movie-verse, given that do not assume any of it happened the same way. I'm writing from scratch with all new secrets. And while certain characters have been included, assumptions cannot be made as to their involvement, 'tis all I will say.

Warnings: Contains a background of slash relationships.

It had started out as such a normal day.

She had rolled over the moment her alarm went off, irritably slamming her fist over it. Somehow she didn't manage to shut it off, and it took some squinting to realize that it wasn't her alarm that was going off, but the cell phone to the side of it. The alarm blinked innocently reading 2:14 am, the phone buzzed insistently, vibrating on the table as it jangled it's far too cheerful tune. Grunting, she grabbed it, fumbling for the buttons. "Parks." She mumbled, reaching for her light to flip the switch.

"Parks, we need you. ASAP. How soon can you get here?"

"Uh… fifteen. What's the situation?"

"Just get here."

She stared at the phone in a semi-stupor, then sighed, flopping back into her bed, staring at the dimly lit ceiling. "Just another day on the job, eh?" She asked, tilting her head to regard her cat who looked just about as irritated as she did to have been woken at this hour. "Don't wait up for me Griff. This'll be a late one I think." The cat blinked his lazy green eyes before shutting them, tucking his head under his paw and ignoring her. "Course." She muttered, rolling out of bed.

It was actually about twenty-five minutes later that she finally rolled up to the plain glass and concrete building, nodding to the guard as he let her through the security gate and into the complex beyond. The moment she was inside the perimeter, she realized that something big was going down. She quickly parked her SUV, tugging one arm into her jacket as she approached a mustached man directing people by the building's entrance. "Banachek, what's the emergency?"

Tom Banachek, a man who she greatly respected, turned to regard her with a solemn expression, typical 'cop-face'. "We've got something in the desert. Crashed there about an hour ago, took us a while to send anyone out there to take a look. Radar and images come back…" he hesitated. "Well… it's nothing we've seen before, lets leave it at that."

A surge of adrenaline flooded her in a rush of excitement. "Is this for real sir, or just another meteor?"

Banachek fixed her with a stare and lightly took her shoulder, turning her aside as he led her away from the mobilizing troops. "Listen, Alexis." He said in a lowered voice. "We want to keep our heads about this." He glanced back where a black-clad SWAT team was piling into several large armored trucks. "But… this thing appeared out of nowhere. It wasn't on any of our satellites, not even long-range. It just appeared, made entry, and crashed here before we had any chance to ID it. Now, from what I've seen of the images, it's got a distinct shape to it, and it's not round. This could be genuine, but let's not get our hopes up. It could just be a disabled satellite."

Her heart pounding in her chest, she nodded as she headed towards the nearest armored car, piling in with the men there, and beginning to suit up with her standard gear. A genuine encounter… they had been trained for this, and knew the protocol. Still, this was why she had joined up with Sector 7, the quietest of the top-secret Government agencies, specifically formed to respond to top-secret calls. As of yet, they had only been handling international fugitives, terrorist groups, and far-fetched people who swore that ET had landed already and were harboring conspiracy theories. They were trained to do it all, but this was their ultimate purpose. Anything weird happened, they were there. That included any possibility of genuine alien encounters.

Most of America thought that the government hid things anyway, but the idea that they had been hiding aliens and their relationship with them from the general public was ridiculous. Up to now, nothing had landed on Earth that wasn't earth made or just some space junk. Roswell was just a funky shaped piece of debris, nothing alive, nothing technologically advanced. There were no UFO's, there were no aliens that had found their way here…

Until now.

The entire way out to the desert was tense for everyone, and when finally they arrived, Alexis piled out with everyone else, eager to get her first glimpse of what had crashed out here.

She wasn't disappointed.

To say that it was enormous was an understatement. There was absolutely no problem being able to get a good look at what had landed here. Everyone stared upwards at the smoking heap of dark twisted metal, completely mesmerized by what they were seeing. It was easily four of five stories tall, triple that length. The entire front end of the object looked as if it were smashed in, wires and cables exposed, smoking and sparking. Half of it was buried in dirt and sand, but the part that was exposed was very clearly and very obviously hand-built, not natural.

This was no meteor. It was a ship.

"All right, stop gawking." Came a snappish order, causing Alexis to turn around and regard a thin faced man walking towards them with purpose. She cringed. She hated this guy. "This is it, gentlemen!" He glanced once her way, then ignored her. No matter how much she proved her skills were equal to, and in some cases superior to his, Reginald Simmons was a pain in her ass. "It's an alien craft! Initial scans show no life signs. Door's been blasted wide open by the crash, no apparent contaminants. Your job is to go in there, scan it head to foot, tell us what we need to know: what it is, where it came from, and what we're dealing with. Do NOT touch anything without permission, do NOT engage any life-forms you may find without first reporting in, and DO gather as much intel as you can. Any questions, radio in. Now get to it!"

Alexis grabbed the flashlight strapped to her hip as the men around her began to stomp into the exposed gaping maw of the ship's damaged exterior. Before she could escape his notice however, Simmons stopped her. "What are you doing here, missy?"

She shot him a dry glare. "I'm here with the other kiddies, Reggie. Let go of me."

He regarded her with a cool expression. "Didn't bring your science kit with you this time?"

"Left it back at the lair. You want me to do my job or what?"

He scowled. "This is a military operation, not a science fair."

"I'm here to make sure your men don't start vomiting out of their ears with some alien virus. You'll want me in there, trust me." Simmons made a disgusted face at her, and simply waved her through, turning to go do whatever pesky things he planned to do. Alexis shook her head. "Moron." She muttered under her breath, pulling her breath mask up over her chin, securing it before she entered the ship.

Sizzling showers of sparks rained down over her as she ducked under the thick mess of cables and broken pipes, staring into the interior with fascination. The first thing she noticed was that the ship was as large on the inside as it was on the outside. The hallway towered over her, at least thirty feet tall. This ship only appeared to have a few rooms, if all of them were this vacant in space. Which left her to wonder, who needed this much room? It didn't appear to be a hangar bay of any sort, there was no apparent door, and there were wires and pipes woven everywhere, making it impossible to discern any normal place for an opening. The small gash had apparently been the only entry into this portion of the ship. The men had already begun their scanning rounds, walking around the room and examining everything possible. She pulled out her hand-held atmospheric monitor and scanned the room. It appeared clean of any bio contaminants, only a slight spray of fumes that smelled slightly like oil or motor fluids through the breath mask. Judging from the liquid pooling under broken pipes, that's where it came from. She ran a quick scan on the contents, and found it to be non-toxic, but a very unique blend of elements that she'd never seen before. It had properties somewhat between oil and gasoline, and smelled just as foul. She stood and slowly made her way down the enormous hallway, leaving the rest of the scanning crew behind. Supposedly the advanced team had already come in and cleared the area, made certain there were no little green men hiding in the inner workings, but she still kept one hand on her gun just in case. One of the perks for being a field analyst was she got to carry firepower. It wasn't much, but it was enough for her to feel safer keeping it close.

The hallway didn't go very far. A good dozen feet past the entry point, it made a turn and opened up into smaller rooms filled with half-collapsed walls, sparking wires and pooling fluids. There were several main supports that appeared to have buckled, the floor was uneven and bent in places, and she had to make her way carefully through the mess to proceed further. Her scans showed still nothing dangerous, though she kept her breath mask on just to be safe. Each room appeared to be so severely damaged filled with debris in multiple states of ruin that she couldn't see much of what the room was supposed to contain. But her thought was that these were either storage rooms, or some other kind of transport rooms, due to their size, and the massive length of shelving on one wall. They were narrower than the main corridor, but still large enough to be very spacious, towering the full thirty foot height over her. Three of them were filled with damaged bent twisted metal and impassible. One was collapsed, and two others were empty, but showed nothing of what they might hold. She moved on slowly, until she finally reached the end of the hallway.

Here, was the interesting part, she realized. The scanner teams hadn't gotten this far yet, so she was excited to be the first one to step inside the next room to study it. It was larger than the corridor, and seemed to stretch the entire length of what was left of this part of the ship. It expanded upwards a good forty or fifty feet, it's shape was circular, and there was a LOT of technology in here. Immediately she could identify view screens on one of the walls, large panels with shattered faces, buttoned consoles, and even a twisted metal chair that looked about as large as a small house. Debris was scattered everywhere around here, littering the floor with cables and wires spilling from broken buckled vents in the ceiling, sparking everywhere. This clearly was the control room, she realized. The engines must have been in the buckled section where the scan team was busy, perhaps cut off for good the way this ship looked. It had obviously had a very rough ride down. She couldn't imagine that a ship this technologically advanced could have just succored to the atmosphere, but then they knew so little about what had happened here, that it was impossible to make guesses. The ship was badly damaged, and something had just about shredded it on the outside. She could only hazard to guess what it might be.

Cautiously she stepped over a pile of debris, treading on a flat panel that appeared to have detached from somewhere, making her way closer to the uprooted chair. There were several keypads on it's arm, if she could just get a closer look, she might be able to at least see if there was any data she could download.

A small noise made her freeze in place.

The room was silent, save for the hissing of sparks, and the occasional creak of something shifting and cooling in the bulkhead. But for a moment there… she swore that she'd heard something else, something closer…

A waft of warm air flooded her face.

Alexis immediately turned her attention in that direction, and quickly identified the source. There was a vent several feet to her left, a vent that she thought had fallen free of it's normal place as it seemed to be propped up with more debris against the side of the room. However, as she drew closer, the warm air wafted out, growing hotter the closer she got. The odd thing was, it wasn't a steady stream, but a puff and pause, another… and another… almost like….

She sucked in her breath, and quickly looked closer at the debris she was just about standing on. It was mangled, twisted and broken, just like the rest of the ship, but oddly enough the debris here was more localized, intricately carved. This was a single piece of machinery, not merely a pile of broken panels. The closer she looked, the more she saw how things fitted together, linked up and ran all the way from the cylindrical pile she stood near, all the way to where it was attached to a larger section. Slowly she walked forward, running her fingers lightly along the exterior hull of the machine, trying to figure out what it was. It was almost like it was lying loose, as there was no space this large for something like this to have detached. She stepped on the panel, watching as the machine seemed to grow more complex, and froze. There was a low sound, mingling with the background noise, but more localized. It had come from directly in front of her, and sounded digital in nature, almost like a computer pulse. She carefully studied the mess of metal in front of her, walking slowly over the panel. The sound repeated, louder this time, and she was able to pinpoint it coming from somewhere near where a bright red light was glowing steadily in front of her. Perhaps it was a computer of some sorts, sending out a distress panel… that red light didn't make her feel very comfortable, for all she knew it might be a self-destruct counting down, so she had to determine it's source quickly.

The light flickered. Curious, she leaned forward, staring into the flat glass panel where the light emanated from. It had a large crack down it's face, and it appeared that the glass itself was red, not the light behind it. There was an intricate spiral of gears and rotors within, small enough that a watchmaker could have tinkered easily with it. But as she gazed into the light, trying to determine it's function, something within the glass enclosure shifted. She pulled back a little, then leaned forward closer, watching in fascination as gears and rotors shifted inside, making the glowing light's aperture smaller almost like….

Her blood froze. The moment the thought hit her mind, the light flickered again, and this time she was able to see why. There was a metal aperture on the exterior that slid smoothly beneath her hand as she pulled it back, covering the glass, coiling up swiftly and then uncoiling just as swift, leaving a slight moist sheen on the glass, clearing it of her handprint.

Just like an eye blinking.

Her heart pounded a cadence in her chest as she swiftly backpedaled, surprise and shock flooding through her like a wash of cold air as she suddenly connected all the dots. The immense volume of the ship, the large hallways, the giant chair…

"Holy…" she started to say, eyes wide as she stared directly at the unblinking glowing red light directly in front of her. Unfortunately her words were abruptly cut off, when something to the right of her shifted. She only just had time to turn her head and see a mass of metal headed her way before a sharp pain slammed into the back of her head. Pain immediately overwhelmed her systems as if fire was being pumped directly into her veins, before blissfully her mind gave up and put her out of her misery.

Her eyes caught sight of the glowing red light gleaming directly at her, before blackness completely engulfed her.