The bureau were now fully established on the internet and was collecting and amassing a very large database of sightings, information and details on how to recognise an alien if you happen to encounter one.
David had set up a computer in his den so that he could keep in contact with the bureau every day.
Claira came home one such day and moved in to the den to find David hovering over the consul checking the emails.
He now noticed her and stepped back.
"Oh, hi darling." He said kissing her.
"Am I interrupting?"
"Interrupting what? Another mass of non-intelligent information from the bureau website? No, I don't think you could ever interrupt that." He said grabbing the mouse.
"What's the email saying today, then?"
"Nothing, as usual. A fake sighting in California, another one in Washington DC, very sporadic."
Claira read on.
"You have one here from North Dakota." She said grabbing the mouse.
"Ah, more farmland. If I see one more cow I think I'll go mad."
Claira looked back at him.
"Erm, you didn't hear that."
She went back to the computer.
"It says here that they had a landing there last week and this kid, Sarah witnessed it with her parents."
"Usual response. Categorize it, date it, and file it. Move on. What's next?"
"But, this is interesting, the saucer landed right near there out-house."
"Precision landing. We've seen that before from them." He said grabbing his cup and plate from earlier. "Have you had anything to eat?"
Claira looked at him.
"Dad, this could be worth checking out. This kid, erm, Sarah, she goes in to great detail about the saucer, what's been going on up there lately. It's not that far, as you said, it's farmland, like home."
David looked at the screen then shook his head.
"Claira, I'm too busy this week. I have that scraper to work on in New York…"
"Oh yeah, I keep forgetting, the ones the aliens missed. Well, that's definitely more interesting than saving the Earth from them." She said closing down the computer and going out.
David watched her leave.
The next morning the phone rang early. David moved to the kitchen phone and answered it.
Claira walked out from her bedroom and grabbed the cereal bowl. David now watched her move in and clicked his fingers to attract her attention.
"Pen and paper."
She looked at him then grabbed the paper and pen and moved up to him. He grabbed it from her and threw it onto the worktop and started to scribble.
Claira now looked up and hung round him like a hungry puppy.
He carried on talking to the bureau for a while which sort of calmed the situation a little. Claira went back to making her breakfast.
Finally he put the phone down and placed the pad under Claira's nose.
"Two nights ago the saucer landed right inside there out-house. We have been asked to check out the site and the owners of the farm."
"The owners? You mean they could be aliens?"
"We'll soon find out."
"I'm going to grab some more information about the site from the web." She said jumping up and running into the den.
Within the hour they were on their way to North Dakota.
"The child that wrote to us is Sarah Whitten and she is seven years old. Hey that's two years younger than me."
"And two years older than I was when I saw my first landing."
"That's correct too."
"I wonder what she's like." She said looking at the information.
"Well, we'll soon find out."
They drove towards the farm.
David pulled up by the house.
"Alright, I better let them know I'm here. Are you alright hanging around here for a while?"
"If I must."
David smiled, kissed her then got out and went to the house.
Claira looked around from the safety of her fathers' car. She then noticed a child and decided to get out and move up to her.
"Hello." The child said moving up to her.
"Who are you?" The child asked.
"My name is Claira, Claira Vincent."
"Claira…? You're the one I wrote to."
"Your Sarah Whitten?"
"The very same."
"Claira." David said behind her.
She spun round.
"Hurh, dad, this is Sarah, she wrote to us about…"
"I know. I've just met her parents. Hello, Sarah."
"You can call him David. We might be here some time by all accounts." Claira said looking at him then Sarah.
"Your parents thought that it would be a good idea if you showed us the grounds." He said looking at Sarah.
"Sure, come on."
They finally came to the out-house.
"This is where it all happens, ha?" David said walking in.
"Yes. The back was destroyed in the last tornado. Dad is going to hire somebody to work on it unless another tornado doesn't get to it first."
"I guess that's how they can get in here and land so easily. The place is baron, out of the way of the house."
"But, there is a single track road up here so, they have easy access to get cars in here."
Claira said looking back.
"I did see a car up here last week. A black sedan." Sarah said.
Claira looked at her then David.
"Lets take a look around ha? We might pick up carbon deposits."
They looked around.
Sarah stayed with Claira.
"Tell me about yourself."
"What do you want to know?"
"Well, when I contacted the bureau who then put me in contact with your dad they told me that you have been searching for aliens for nigh on four years now."
"Yes, that's true."
"Don't you think that you'd be getting somewhere by now? I mean that bureau's website, it's full of…."
Claira stared at her.
"My father and I helped create the bureau, although the website is believer based it still has some interesting facts held on it."
"Like how to recognise and alien. Have you ever met any of these aliens that come down in these saucers that you witness landing out here?"
"Why don't you just hang around here one night, you might just catch a glimpse of one and you'd be very surprised at what you'd see."
"Don't tell me, they have two heads and three arms, like that character out of The Hitch Hikers Guide To The Galaxy, yes?"
"No! Their like you and me."
"You heard me. They look perfectly acceptable to us, except…" She now walked off.
"Except what? Claira, what is it?"
She stopped and turned back.
"They have a mutated fourth finger on one hand, sometimes both hands." She said touching her hand.
"Well, Sarah, now that you know what they look like you can stay with your parents tonight while we wait out here." David said looking at Claira as he moved up to her.
She looked away.
"No, I want to see these aliens up close."
"Your parents wouldn't like that. Your too young."
"How old was your daughter when she saw her first alien?"
Claira looked at her then David.
"She was five, but that has nothing to do with this…."
"It has everything to do with this Mr Vincent… Why do you think the bureau was set up for? The website tells you how to recognise an alien… This is my home, Mr Vincent."
"Alright, have it your way." He said moving away.
Claira watched him go then looked at Sarah who was standing there contentedly. She now walked through the out-house and looked at the burnt edges where a saucer had landed in the past.
Sarah's parents layed on dinner for the Vincent's then they retired to their car and settled in for a nights watch.
Sarah came out in her nightgown and crossed the compound to David's car.
Claira watched her run up to them and climb into the back.
"Hi." Claira said looking around.
"Who's got first watch?"
"I have. Do your parents know you're out here?" David asked looking back.
"Of course. They just sent me out here to make sure everything was alright."
"Everything is fine Sarah, thank you. Tell your mother that it was very nice of her to make us dinner."
"I shall pass on your comments."
The car fell silent for a moment as they all looked outside.
"They wont be here yet."
"Sarah!" Claira said nearly jumping out of her skin.
"Sorry, I'm just…."
"Yes, we know Sarah, we all get a little bit nervous when it comes to this."
"Maybe I should head inside."
Claira looked at her and nodded very quickly.
"Goodnight Sarah." David said as she jumped out of their car and ran back in to the house.
Claira looked down and laughed.
"I'm sorry dad, but sometimes. Was I ever like that?"
"Do you want me to seriously answer that?"
She looked at him then they started to look back outside again.
Early that morning Claira went for a walk around the back of the out-house. She watched the sun starting to peep over the yardarm, which was starting to glint in her eyes. She turned round and rubbed her eyes.
She jumped up. "Ha? Sarah? Wha, what time is it?
"Nearly five, I think. Have you seen anything, yet?"
"No, nothing and it's too late now anyway."
They walked out of the out-house to a load clap that sounded like thunder.
"What was that?"
Claira looked around.
"Kids, get over here!" David said shouting.
They looked back to see a space ship flying in low and seemingly out of control.
"What's the matter with it?"
"It's in trouble, come on."
They ran back to the car and David as they watched it smash into the out-house.
"I want you kids to stay here. I have to call the authorities."
"But dad, that thing could blow."
"That's why I want you to stay here. Sarah, stay with your parents."
They watched him run back into the farmhouse.
"What do you think is happening inside there?"
"I don't know. I've never seen one so beaten up like this before. Maybe he had problems entering Earth's atmosphere. Look at the scorch marks."
Sarah now started to walk up to it.
"What are you doing? You heard my dad, he said stay here."
"There could be someone inside.
"Of course there could be someone inside, an alien. Sarah, come back!"
Claira now found herself following her into the smouldering barn and to one of the mangled legs of the ship.
"Hello?" Sarah said looking up.
"Sarah, are you mad? Their aliens, their here to…."
"To, what Claira? Take us over? One crumpled space ship, what can that do?"
"It's not the space ship, it's what's inside that…."
An alien now fell to the ground in front of them.
Claira pulled Sarah back.
"Lets get the hell out of here."
"No, he's glowing, what?" Sarah said moving forward.
"He's dying. They go like that just before they…."
"Dying? Well, we've got to help him, then."
"No! He's an alien!"
"He's a man that needs our help Claira, can't you see that."
Claira stared at him glowing in front of her.
The alien looked back at her.
"Please, please help me, I," He crumpled under the pain.
Sarah ran to his side.
Claira, I can't carry him all on my own, help me."
"No! My dad's going to be here any minute and he'll deal with him."
"There is a regeneration station not far from here. All I ask is that you help me get to it. I will not harm you in any way, please."
"Why should I help you, you're an alien, you…" Claira stared at him glowing red as she thought of her parents.
Sarah looked at her.
She looked back.
"My dad is going to be coming out of that door any minute."
He stared at her.
"All I want to do is get away from here. If I can regenerate, another space ship will be here in three days. I can stay out of your way, I wont cause you any problem."
"That's what they all say. Who else is aboard that craft?"
"No-one. My pilot was killed in the landing."
"Is his body still in there?" Sarah asked looking at him.
"I wouldn't think so, Sarah. He burned up, right?"
The alien looked at her as he grimaced again.
"Claira?" Sarah said trying to hold up the alien.
She looked back.
"That regeneration centre? There are none in this area. The believers capped all of them last month."
"One still exists. If you could help me…."
"If I don't I'm going to die. Do you want that at this precise moment?" He said looking at her.
Claira stared at him starting to glow again then thought about her father.
"Maybe not, because then, then I'd have more explaining to do than I have at the moment, I," She looked around. "Alright, I'll help you to the regeneration centre but that's all." She said going to his other side and helping him out of the barn and into the field.
They came through to a clearing and the alien looked around.
"It's through here."
"Why aren't you bleeding? You seem in so much pain." Sarah asked looking at him.
"We don't bleed. I have to hurry, please."
Sarah stopped and looked at him.
"Can we save the questions till after I've regenerated? I'd feel much better then."
Claira watched him struggling then they helped into the hut.
"We must have missed this one."
"It's location changes from time to time to keep one step ahead of the bureau."
"I'll have to let my dad know about this one."
The alien walked in and moved to the back checking the power.
"Good, it's still operational. Now, stay over there. I need to concentrate."
They stayed back as he moved to one of the tubes and it started to work. They watched as he started to regenerate and grow stronger.
"I've never really seen this before. My dad would know, but I think he's becoming human again, my god, what am I saying?" She said then ran outside.
"Claira, Claira, wait." Sarah said following her out.
She ran up to her.
"Is that what happens? Back there, he,"
Claira looked back as the alien came out and locked up the door. He now looked at them and smiled.
She stared at him.
"I've got to get my dad. He must find out about you."
"He probably wont believe you now, Claira." He said taking out his ring and putting it on his little finger.
"What is it?" Sarah said grabbing her.
"It makes them look, so we don't find out that there," She turned away.
He stepped up to her.
"All I want to do is leave here. I wasn't even due to come here yet. You saw my ship crash; you saw what happened to me. A ship is coming for me in three days. If you can keep this secret for those three days no-one will be any the wiser."
"My dad will be the wiser when I tell him all about you."
"Go on, Claira, go and give me away to your dad. Tell him all about me, all about this place. Then it will all be a buzz with activity, can you handle the others finding out?"
"Others?" She said looking at him.
"Others like me. They'll come here and who knows what they'll do to keep our silence, to cap the hysteria once I've been found out by the adults."
Claira looked back through the trees.
"If we can keep this silent for two more nights, keep my identity away from the adults for that time, I promise that I will leave here and no-one will be any the wiser."
"My dad saw the ship land."
"All aliens died in the crash. You've seen us die. We were a crew of three and we all perished in the crash. Please, Claira, it's all I ask for."
Claira stared at him
"Claira, what are we going to do?"
"The third night I will leave here and then you can tell anyone you want about me. I will not be bothering you again."
"Where are you going to stay? You're a new face, you'll be found out straight away."
"No he won't." Sarah said looking at him.
"My dad's been looking for a handyman for sometime now. The barn needs fixing up after that ship…" She stopped and looked at him.
"I think I understand what you mean. Has your dad got any materiel?"
"Yeah, it was delivered yesterday."
"Well, alright. I better get out of these coveralls and into something more acceptable."
They moved away from the hut and headed back into the field.
The police were now on scene checking over the barn with David.
"What are we going to do, their going to notice you?" Claira said kneeling down behind the barn.
"You two must get back in there or your parents are going to start wondering where you are."
"I'm going to tell dad, this is wrong. They'll find you out, I know they will."
He now grabbed her and held her down.
"Not if you do as I tell you."
Claira looked at his hand touching hers and quickly pulled it away.
David walked around the barn then noticed Claira and Sarah running in.
They both stopped.
"Hi, Mr Vincent." Sarah said waving to him.
"Where have you two been? Sarah, your parents have been worried sick."
"We were just in the fields. We thought that we'd leave you to it. I mean, I have seen those saucers land here before." Sarah said looking at him.
David now looked at Claira.
"What about you?"
"What have you got to say for your disappearing act?"
"We, we were just out playing dad. Have you turned up something?"
"No, not much. It looks like they all perished in the crash."
Claira looked back.
"I've got to go Claira, you know." Sarah said running of.
David watched her go.
"You know, what?" He said looking back to Claira standing before him.
"Erm, nothing dad. We were just fooling around. Are the police finished with the barn, yet?"
David stared at her.
"Great, see ya later."
She kept on running.
The alien watched from the back as David walked around.
Sarah grabbed some clothes from her parent's room and run back up to the alien.
"Will these do?"
"Their great Sarah thanks. I better go get myself that job then."
He moved out through the barn to talk with Sarah's father.
Claira was by David's car when the alien walked past.
"Well, who's he?" David asked watching him talking with the farmer.
"I don't know." She said grabbing her ipod and jumping into the back of the car.
David moved up to him.
Sarah went to Claira.
"Claira, hey Claira what's your dad up to?"
"Why are you asking me?"
"But, the alien…"
"Hey, he's on his own now. If he call fool my old man he can fool anyone." She said turning up the volume.
David followed him to the barn.
"So, he finally got himself some local help ha?"
The alien turned round.
"Well, from what I've heard the farmer around here isn't known for getting in help. He kind of keeps himself to himself, if you know what I mean."
"In a way, so do I, Mr?"
"Vincent, David Vincent. I'm here with my daughter trying to find out what I can about the flying saucers buzzing around here lately." He said holding out his hand.
The alien looked at him then slowly took his hand and shook it.
"Steve O'Brien. I'm not interested in the local gossip. I'm here to fix said barn that your aliens seem to be buzzing."
"Oh, their not my aliens, their all our aliens, all our problems."
"Not mine, not interested, as I already said. Excuse me."
David let him go then turned round to see Claira and Sarah staring at him with their mouths open in amazement. He moved up to them.
"We, we were going to ask you the same question. What, what's going on?" Claira asked looking up at David looking down.
He now looked back at Steve.
"Nothing much. Come on."
They left the barn.
The next day Steve started early clearing the bails of hay from the landing area. Claira walked in munching on her breakfast. He noticed her.
"Hi." She said then looked away.
Sarah now ran in.
"There you go Steve, ham and eggs, is that alright?"
"Oh, thanks Sarah."
"Sarah, what, what are you playing at, he's an alien!"
"A little louder please Claira, the next town didn't quite catch that."
Claira stared at him as he started to eat the sandwich. She slowly moved up to him.
"I remember my mum and dad when we had dinner that night they. When, they, they became my mum and dad."
"We can eat like you Claira, there's nothing wrong with our appetite."
They stared at each other.
"Claira." David said from outside the barn.
"Hurh, dad. That's my dad."
"I know. I've met him, remember." He said smiling at her.
Claira now snapped herself out of her trance and ran out.
Sarah watched her go then looked at Steve.
"Dad!" She said running up to him.
"I'm going into town to find out when the bureau are going to be here. Are you going to be alright here with Sarah, and…" He now looked towards the barn.
She looked down.
She looked up.
"Steve, he, he's a…."
"Claira?" Sarah said behind her.
She spun round.
"Are we going to help Steve today? He said that we could."
"I better not keep you from your work, then." David said kissing her then going to his car and driving away.
They watched him go.
"You were going to tell him, wasn't you?"
"What?" She said moving back to the barn.
"You were going to give Steve away to your dad. Steve, Claira was going to tell Mr Vincent all about you."
"Well, she didn't, lets just leave it at that, ha?" He said starting on the bails again.
Claira stared at him as he worked.
"My dad's gone into town to check on where the bureau are. They might get here before tomorrow night. What are you going to do if they get here first?"
"Carry on like I am now. Do you notice anything different about me?"
"But, I have to tell them."
"Claira, you don't have to do anything you don't want to do."
"I need to tell them about you. You're an alien, you're here to, to…"
"I told you before Claira, I just want to get off this planet and I will tomorrow night if you just keep your silence until then."
Claira stared at him then ran off. Steve noticed that she ran off into the fields.
He moved out to the jeep and jumped in. He sped off into the fields to find her.
Claira walked along the ridge as she noticed the jeep and who was driving it. She now set off along the top but Steve soon caught her up.
"Claira, slow down, will you?"
She now tripped and fell down the hill.
Steve pulled over and jumped out, running up to her.
"Stay away from me."
"Claira, you're bleeding, now take it easy." He said trying to stop her struggling with him.
"Claira." Sarah said running up to them. "What happened?"
"She fell over. I'll take her back to the farm and get her cleaned up." Steve said picking her up.
"Leave me alone, your all the same, you want to destroy us, kill us so you can have, have my home. Mum and dad, they… they."
"What's she saying, Mr O'Brien?"
"Claira had alien parents for a while until Vincent took her away. I've got to get her back to the farmhouse." He said picking her up and putting her into the jeep.
Steve drove back and grabbed a medical kit as he treated her wombs.
"Take it easy Claira, you're alright."
David pulled up outside and was alerted to Claira. He ran into the house.
"She took a tumble on the ridge but I've managed to stop the bleeding."
David moved forward.
"You don't bleed, you're an alien." She said mumberling.
Steve stared at her.
"What's she talking about?" He said looking back to Steve.
"I've no idea. She's been in and out of consciousness since this happened." Steve said moving away.
David now held her and made sure that she was okay.
Sarah followed him out to the barn.
"Is Claira going to be alright, Mr O'Brien?"
"She took quite a tumble but she's a fighter. A few days rest and she will be fine."
"A few days, but you go tomorrow night."
Steve looked at her.
The next morning Claira awoke late and tried to get out of the bed that David had found for her.
"Hey, where do you think your going?" He said moving forward.
"Dad? Mr O'Brien, where is he?"
"Working, probably. How do you feel?"
She held her head then closed her eyes.
"Get some more sleep."
"What time is it?"
"Claira, are you listening to me? Just relax and get some sleep. I'll check on you later."
"But, Steve, he."
"You can thank him when you're better. He's not going anywhere, is he?"
"Yes, yes, he is, he's…." Claira's head now started to hurt as she went unconscious again.
David looked at her then looked back.
Steve finished his duties for the day and wiped his forehead as David walked in.
"Hello." Steve said looking at him. "Your daughter okay?"
"Fine. In fact she was more concerned about you."
Steve laughed. "Really? Erm, you may want to get the doctor out again for her."
"Why would my kid be concerned about you?"
"I have no idea. I'm just a no-body, Mr Vincent."
"A no-body? Well, you must be somebody for my daughter to take an interest in you."
"I just save lives Mr Vincent and yesterday your daughter looked like she needed her life saving."
"Are you sure there's nothing else to it?"
"Nothing else. Excuse me."
David watched him move out of the barn.
A while later, Steve managed to make it into Claira's bedroom and checked on her.
"Mr O'Brien." Sarah said moving up behind him.
"Oh, hi, Sarah."
"How is she?"
"She looks okay."
"It's dark outside."
"Yeah, I know. They will be here soon. I better get ready. When she wakes up, you let her know, let her know how sorry I am for all that's happened."
He now went out.
David watched from another room as Steve left.
Later that night the space ship came in low over the fields and landed in the hut. Steve moved over to it and into the craft.
He went up to the flight deck to see a black sedan drive down the lane.
"What's going on?"
"This place has been found out by the bureau. The whole area is being wiped clean. We have a team working on the family now."
"No, David and Claira Vincent are down there. Do you know what will happen if you…"
"The bureau have too much information on this site, we have no choice."
David now noticed the ship as he ran out. The black sedan now pulled up and the men now moved into the farmhouse.
Sarah ran into Claira's room and woke her up.
"Claira, there here."
"Those men. The men you talked about. There's a black sedan outside."
"Black sedan?" She said jumping up. "Where's my dad?"
"Outside. The space ship is also out there."
"The space ship, Steve O'Brien…"
"Yes, he's already in the ship."
"We've got to stop them taking off, come on."
The children now run out missing the aliens by inches.
Steve watched Claira and Sarah run out of the farmhouse.
"That's Claira Vincent."
"Our team are dealing with it. Prepare to lift off."
Steve looked at him.
Claira ran past David and to the steps of the ship.
"Steve, Steve are you in there? The black sedan is here. Do you understand what they're going to do, Steve please, help us. Help me, Steve, please, like we helped you, remember?"
"Claira?" David said running up to her. "It's going to take off."
Steve now grabbed a gun and fired on the fellow alien and watched him die. He now ran to the entrance and jumped down.
"Steve!" She said hugging him.
David now stared at him then took out his gun.
"Stay where you are."
"I can't Mr Vincent, I'm sorry but that black sedan means that we're wiping this area clean. If I don't stop them in time, wait a minute, Sarah, where is she?" He said looking around.
A scream now filled the air.
They all ran into the farmhouse as the aliens were coming out. Steve fired on them and they disappeared. He now ran into to find Sarah in the corner by the ashes of her parents.
He moved up to her and grabbed hold of her.
"It's alright, it's okay."
David and Claira now run in and looked at him.EPILOG
The bureau arrived as the sun started to appear over the yardarm. Steve carried a sleepy Sarah out towards the ship.
"That is certainly going to keep the bureau happy for a week or so. An intact space ship on the driveway." David said looking on.
"I guess they'll probably be probing me for the week after that." He said looking at him.
David stared at him.
"Well, I don't know about that. I think that we can talk them round to accepting you on the team, if that is what you want?"
He looked at him then Claira.
"Erm, would you want me?"
"I think the kids would." David said holding out his hand.
Steve now looked at his hand then quickly shook it.
Claira now stepped forward and hugged him.
"Now you know that's a confirmed yes."
They all started to laugh then looked out to the space ship now getting the once over from the bureau team.