Once more, I am insanely starting another story. Even stranger, this category falls fairly far outside my usual style. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the movie (it was a movie specifically designed to appeal to sci-fi fans and geeks of the world… I qualify as both) and saw some real potential to expand on it. I watched it twice since I enjoyed the references and the general fun of film, meaning I can now remember plenty of the little details about it. Thus, I find myself starting off another story against my will. How long it will end up being (and what type of crazy updating schedule I will end up following) is anyone's guess at this point. I hope you enjoy it.
Specifically, I am focusing on the time between Paul crashing in 1947 and his escape over sixty years later. That's loads of time for events to happen. Thus, his behavior will be slightly different at the start of the story and he'll slowly start acting more like how he was in the movie towards the end. After all, he just crash-landed on a strange planet; that is bound to make anyone a little uneasy.
Secret Files of Area 51
The first thought that popped into his mind as he regained awareness was the fact that crashing was not fun. Actually, between the impact tossing him around the now-collapsed space of the ship's interior and his splitting headache, he was determined to never be in a crash ever again. Stupid auto-pilot. Prying his eye open slightly, he could make out twisted pieces of metal that once made up the hull, the controls, and even his own chair. The fact he was even alive to complain about the crash was a stroke of insane luck. The ship was just a mangled collection of scrap and would never fly again. He probably should try getting out of this place, but it felt like too much effort. His headache was still pounding and he just couldn't summon the energy.
"Paul," a strange, high-pitched voice screamed in a language he didn't know and yet could still recognize as a spoken language instead of a random noise. The sound wasn't helping his headache at all, however. "Paul, are you all right? Where are you, boy? Please don't be under there, Paul. What is it? Is it an airplane?"
There was something crawling across the broken metal. He briefly wondered if it was some kind of rescue. He tried to remember if there was anyone who knew he'd crashed or even the full details of his stupid scientific mission, but apparently those types of facts are hard to focus on after the blow to his cranium that he'd undoubtedly experienced that would explain his headache. Hoping that the approaching sounds were indeed a rescue of some type, he tried to sit up. The wave of dizziness that hit him suggested that moving was not his best idea ever.
"Paul, is that you? Come here, boy," the high-pitched voice called again, apparently hearing him trying to get up. "Come on, Paul. Be a good boy. Come on…"
The voice fell silent as the speaker came into view. He threw up, though it was hard to tell if it was due to the weird appearance of the creature or due to his current nausea-inducing headache. It was only a small comfort that his would-be rescuer looked equally uneasy with his features.
Its head was tiny in comparison to its body and was half-hidden under long, light-colored hair. The eyes were puny, making him vaguely wonder how in the world anyone could see with them. Wearing some flowing white fabric with a brown fabric on top and carrying something in one of its hand, it was taller than him and seemed to have fairly long legs under the outfit. Add in the extra digit on each hand and that unnatural pinkish skin color, and it was definitely a strange creature.
"You're not my dog," the freaky thing cautiously muttered. "Who are you? Are you okay?"
He tried to scramble backwards away from it. There was no predicting if he'd just encountered some harmless creature or a dangerous carnivore. He knew that if you explore the galaxy long enough, you will run into an unusual number of threats. Unfortunately, he managed to his head against a twisted metal bar and ended up with his earlier pain intensified to an almost blinding level. He clutched his cranium and ended up producing a slight whimper.
The weird thing, responding to his accidental injury, crawled quickly towards him. Before he could try to escape again or even contemplate trying to disappear, it had wrapped its arms around his slight figure. Instead of a threatening gesture, it felt comforting and he relaxed. With his fears concerning the strange creature completely disproven, he allowed it to draw him into a hug. He was too tired and his headache was too strong for him to resist anyway.
"Poor thing," the high-pitched voice cooed softly. "You need help. Dad is gone until tomorrow night. He's at my Aunt's, but he knows I'm a big girl and left me at home with my dog." He had no idea what it was saying, but it was oddly comforting. Maybe that was its entire purpose: to comfort him. "Don't worry; I'll take care of you. I'm old enough to take care of myself after all. First, let's get out of here."
It picked him up, trying to balance him so that his head was protected and it could still see. Slowly and carefully, it began to scramble over the rough terrain. It seemed unsteady with both hands full, but it still managed. He glanced between his surprising rescuer and the odd object it had tucked under its arm when it picked him up, trying to determine if he should be doing anything about the situation. Finally, his general tiredness and pounding headache made the idea of sleep too good to resist any longer.
Waking up this time to illuminated surroundings, he found his headache had receded slightly and that he was practically cocooned in some warm fabric. He was inside of some type of building, filled with odd and primitive objects. His focus was instantly drawn to the only other occupant of the room: his rescuer. It was staring right back at him with its tiny eyes.
"You're awake. That's good," it chirped at him. He really needed to learn this language soon. It didn't sound too hard and then he might have an actual clue what in the world was happening. "I can't find Paul anywhere, though. I think your…" It stopped talking for a moment, as if thinking, but continued, "space ship… squashed him. You're an alien from another planet, right? Like Mars? I know you didn't mean to hurt Paul."
"Paul?" he repeated, remembering hearing that particular word several times.
"Do you speak English?" asked the odd being, sounding surprised. Getting frustrated with continuously referring to his rescuer as an 'it,' he decided that the high-pitched voice likely indicated it was a female. She continued, "Do you understand me?" When he didn't respond to her, she sighed and placed her and on her chest, "My name is Tara. Tara Walton. Can you say 'Tara'?"
Guessing that she was trying to identify herself, he slid his arm out of his warm bundle ad pointed at her, "Tara."
A smile and a nod indicated he had correctly picked her name out of the verbal chaos of the unknown language. They might be different species from different planets that were separated by light-years, but they were similar enough for an expression of approval to be recognizable. Even the original uneasiness brought on by her odd appearance had ebbed. While she was sort of weird looking, it wasn't that bad.
"Right. Tara," she stated, tapping her chest again. She pointed to him, "What's your name?"
Once more, her words were meaningless to him. The gesture, her questioning tone, and logic, however, suggested she was requesting his identity this time. Unfortunately, judging by the range of sounds she'd already emitted, she would not be able to replicate his name even if he told her. And he couldn't explain that problem to her either. Stupid language barrier.
When he didn't answer, she frowned slightly, "You don't understand me at all, do you? But I have to call you something."
She closed her eyes briefly and fell silent. When she didn't move for several moments, he began to wonder what was going on in her head. Was she trying to mentally connect with him somehow and either gain or give knowledge to him? Was she trying to deal with the undoubtedly great amount of stress she must be experiencing due to his arrival? Or was she just simply in deep thought about some topic? Unfortunately, he had no way to ask her and would not be able to comprehend the answer if she did provide it.
"Well, your first word was 'Paul,' but that's my dog's name," she muttered finally. "Or, it was. And I know it was an accident. So, if you want to, I can call you 'Paul' too." She pointed toward him again and chirped curiously, "Paul?"
Once more, she had used that word again. Paul. Only, this time, she seemed to be trying to indicate that he was Paul. While not even close to his real name and he had no idea what Paul meant, it was probably as close as she could manage to find a name for him. Besides, he somehow could tell that she wouldn't give him an insultive or demeaning name. She was too nice for that sort of thing.
"Paul," he agreed.
She nodded and smiled, "Okay, Paul, I called the police when you crashed, but I don't think Officer Bentley believed me. He said he'll come by tomorrow to look at my 'space ship,' but not tonight since he's going off-duty. I don't know what he'd be able to do to help you, but I had to call someone. And since Dad is too far away right now, I picked the police. Don't worry though, Paul. Officer Bentley is actually pretty nice. Once he sees you and your space ship, he'll believe me and help."
Beyond the occasional use of his "new" name and other commonly repeated words that he was beginning to recognize (if not understand), her soothing words were little more than background noise. She eventually sat down beside him on the soft piece of furniture that she'd placed his cocooned form. He was warm, fairly safe, and feeling rather happy to be alive. Over all, things could be far worse.
The moment of peace was interrupted by the sounds of approaching machinery from outside the structure. Tara stood up at the noise and crossed the room. She seemed surprised, but not immediately concerned. She glanced back at him.
"I'll be right back, Paul," she assured. "Stay right there."
She stepped out of sight and he heard a creaking sound of something opening. Her footsteps were slow and cautious as she went outside. Part of him wondered if he should be concerned that the only person on the entire planet he knew was out of sight, but he decided that he'd be fine for a few minutes while investigating the noise. From his cozy cocoon, he could see a window. It was still obviously night, but several lights were now approaching.
"Paul, a lot of cars are coming this way," his rescuer commented, sounding confused, as she came back into the room. "I don't recognize them and I know almost everyone in Moorcroft."
She walked back over and sat down beside him, wrapping her arm around him comfortingly. They sat there and listened to the approaching noise. When the machine sounds and lights were close, the noises suddenly cut off and were replaced by deep, authoritative voices speaking in Tara's language. There were several of them by the sounds of it. When a loud banging sound erupted suddenly, both he and Tara jumped in surprise.
"Is there anyone home?" a deep voice shouted as the knocking sound continued.
"I'm not supposed to talk to strangers," his rescuer yelled back.
The deeper voice, adopting a more calm tone, responded, "I'm not really a stranger. I'm a good guy, like the police. Are your parents here?"
Standing up slowly, she stepped closer to the unseen speaker and chirped, "My dad isn't here right now. What do you want?"
"We heard your phone call and need to ask you a few questions. Did you see… anything?"
"You mean the crash? It hit my dog."
"I'm sorry about that, Miss Walton. We're here to take care of that, but you have to answer a very important question. Did you see anything else? Something unusual?"
The exchange of foreign words was frustrating. He had no idea what was going on or what she was telling the deep-voiced speaker. Should he stay still or try to hide? Vanishing would be too easy to accomplish and could be the right course of action if the beings outside proved dangerous. Tara currently was on guard, but not afraid. As long as she acted as if everything was under control, he planned to trust her judgment of the situation.
She glanced over at him and met his gaze. She didn't say anything, but she obviously wanted to assure him that everything would be fine. He smiled slightly, trying to let her know he got the message.
Turning back in the direction of the deep-voiced person and stated, "There was someone in the crash. He wasn't human either."
"Do you know where it went?" the unknown speaker shouted frantically. "What did it look like?"
"Yes, I know where he is," answered the light-haired being. "If I let you in and tell you…"
"Don't worry, you can trust us."
She stepped out of sight and he heard the creaking sound, "Okay, but just you. Can all the other strangers stay outside?"
"Don't worry, they're busy with the crash site," the deep voice assured, coming closer. "They won't bother…"
The strange words abruptly halted as the deep-voiced stranger caught sight of him. The expression of absolute shock that widened its eyes until they almost seemed normal-sized and appeared to be struggling to stay upright and conscious would normally seem hilarious. At the moment, however, he was trying to deal with his own reaction to the new arrival. The deep-voiced creature was freakishly tall. Tara wasn't much taller than him, but this one towered over him. Tiny heads, huge bodies, a weird skin color, beady eyes, and a towering physique: these beings were just plain weird. Of course, if the normal appearance for them was to be tall, that could mean Tara wasn't a mature example of the species. His rescuer might actually just be a child.
"I don't think Paul speaks English," she commented quietly, walking back over to him. "But he seems to be okay now and has been acting very calm."
"This is amazing. Living proof of… Wait, 'Paul'?"
"I gave him a name," she muttered, shrugging. "I think he likes it."
"How do you know?"
"Like this," she responded before turning towards him. "Paul?"
Guessing that she wanted some kind of reaction, he answered, "Tara?"
The giant, probably male, jerked back in surprise at the single word. It was actually fairly amusing. She did chuckle a little at the reaction. She sat back down beside his cocooned form.
"He already knows my name and his," she chirped. "He seems really smart. Even if he crashed his space ship."
"I have… I have to tell my superior about this," mumbled the giant. "He's supervising clean up, but he needs to know that we have the occupant of the ship."
"He won't… hurt Paul, right?" she asked, sounding suspicious of the tall being's words or tone. "You just want to help him, right?"
He giant didn't immediately answer Tara, but he eventually knelt down to be at eye level with the child and her wrapped up companion, "I can't technically tell you that, but I am quite certain that they would rather learn from him than risk harming him."
She nodded slowly, "Okay."
The giant stood back up and walked towards the exit. Tara turned and looked at her very confused guest directly in the eye.
"I know you don't understand me, Paul, but I'll miss you," she cooed softly. "After you are done with these men, can you come back and see me? Please?"
He had no idea what she had said and couldn't even guess what she wanted. First chance he had, he was learning this language. Being in the dark was a real annoyance.
Farther away, he could hear the giant calling, "Sir, you need to see this."
Another set of footsteps approached from outside and joined the tall being just out of sight. Two separate voices muttered quietly, the foreign words too soft to make out at this distance. In a matter of moments, the giant re-entered the room with another tall being. While the giant he'd already met had light hair similar to Tara, though far shorter in length, the new one had short dark hair that was nearly black. He also had a patch of hair beneath his protruding nose that the other two lacked. Both of the adult specimens were wearing a darker outfit that was more form-fitting that Tara's white flowing one. He wondered if the color choice was connected to age, gender, rank, or personal preference. He also wondered how his own, silvery outfit, pretty badly shredded by the crash-landing, would fit into this if the color choice was connected to a hierarchy of some type.
The dark-haired adult, just barely shorter than the light-haired giant, seemed surprised by his appearance, but was handling it better than the first adult. The dark-haired one didn't look like he was about to pass out at least. The newcomer simply took in the scene, studying them, and decided on a course of action efficiently.
"You transport the target to the van while I handle the witness," the dark-haired giant barked firmly to the light-haired one. "As long as it offers no resistance, treat it well. If it tries to escape or offers violence, try to disable it without using lethal force."
"Yes, sir," responded the light-haired giant, nodding slightly and walking over to the smaller pair. Quietly, he coaxed, "Come on, Paul. Let's go."
The stranger reached over and picked up the entire fabric-enshrouded package. He wanted to complain that he was perfectly capable of walking once he was unwrapped from the warm fabric cocoon, but he decided not to waste his breath. He just craned his neck so he could see Tara. She was glancing between him and the dark-haired adult who was looking down at her. As he was carried towards the exit, he could hear the dark-haired one speaking to the child.
"This never happened, Miss Walton. It was only a meteor that fell in your yard. There was no space ship or alien."
"Yes, there was. It crashed on my dog and you just saw Paul," her high-pitched voice chirped, sounding confused.
"It never happened, we were never here, and nothing more than a piece of rock from space hit your dog. Everything else was just in your head."
As the light-haired adult stepped outside, pulling the fabric up to conceal the being in his arms from the other tall entities that were moving around, he lost track of the conversation. Not that it mattered considering that he recognized only a couple dozen of the words and understood the meaning of only two names. He caught sight, barely, of his crashed vessel and winced at the twisted wreckage that they were swarming over. Once again, he felt extremely relieved to have survived the impact. He was quickly transported to one of the multiple wheeled objects that he quickly deduced to be a form of terrestrial transportation. The giant pulled open a door and set him down inside.
"Stay back here, Paul," the light-haired adult stated calmly, pointing down towards the floor of the wheeled transport. "I'll be back in a few minutes. We have to load the remnants of your ship into the trucks and erase any evidence of your existence. We'll be taking you back to the base, though you'll probably end up at one with a higher level of security eventually. The only reason we were called in was proximity." The tall being paused and rubbed the back of his head, "I wish you could understand me, Paul."
Without another word, the light-haired being closed the door and, judging by the click that followed, locked it. That could either be for his protection… or imprisonment. He didn't really want to consider the second option. No one had given him a reason to doubt they meant no harm. Tara had been nothing but helpful and comforting; a child willing to crawl inside a crashed ship and rescue a complete stranger, let alone a completely different species, couldn't be considered a threat by even the most paranoid person. The light-haired giant was still fairly unknown, but he'd been behaving fairly reliably and calm. Plus, the giant was amusing since he almost fell over when they met. Since he currently didn't have any better options, he decided to wait and see.
Wiggling free of his warm fabric cocoon, he found out that he wasn't quite alone. Tucked inside the folds was a small, brown, fuzzy object that was vaguely shaped like some type of creature. It had four limbs and a head, but it was obviously not truly alive. He abruptly remembered seeing it in Tara's hand when she rescued him. Did she place it in her? He smiled slightly. Once he learned how to, he would have to come back and thank her.
Okay, there's the first chapter. There is still a ways to go before our extraterrestrial is giving Steven Spielberg tips or riding in an RV with a pair of geeks. And, yes, the other humans will gain names eventually. I hope you enjoyed this. I enjoy feedback, so feel free to review. Thanks.