I did warn you that updates would be insanely sporadic. I have no idea when the next one will be either, but I'll try to add some to this when I have the opportunity. I have other stories going on currently and trying to balance that many storylines without diminishing their quality is a true challenge. Especially since I have to do plenty of research of major events and other important facts of the time period. Also, the length of the chapters will likely vary depending on what is needed. Hopefully, these traits of the story will not be a problem for my readers.
An important note about this story is that, while most of the tale is told from the perspective of our extraterrestrial called "Paul," there will be cases when others will take over the narrative. Another important notice is that he'll eventually gain enough knowledge of the English language that the italics will stop being used. But not quite yet.
On a final note, I absolutely loved all the feedback on the first chapter. It made me smile and a happy writer is more likely to write quickly. So, enjoy the update and tell me what you think.
They took him somewhere. He didn't know where, but that wasn't very surprising considering he was stuck on an alien planet populated by giants with tiny heads. Any location in this entire solar system was just as mysterious as another. This particular site was inside a new building in a room with a very thick door. It contained a piece of semi-soft furniture with a dark-colored fabric similar to the one that Tara wrapped him in. He figured it was supposed to provide a place to sleep.
The light-haired giant had brought him to this room after the long trip in the wheeled vehicle. The strange being had taken great care to ensure no one spotted the crash victim, so he assumed the other giants weren't supposed to know about him yet. Considering that the light-haired one nearly collapsed when he first saw the being now answering to "Paul," it made some sense.
Gently, the giant deposited the objects from Tara on the sole piece of furniture. He grinned uneasily.
"You'll be staying in here for a few days, Paul," he described in the still strange language. "Just until we make arrangements to transport you to a more secure location. We can't let anyone know you're here yet, so most of the people on base and even those who helped clean up the crash site have no idea you exist." He smiled a little more strongly, "Imagine it, Paul. Someone like me actually knowing such an impressive national secret simply because I was supposed to question the witness. I found out about you even before my superior or even the president. Even if I could tell anyone about you, no one would believe me."
He began straightening the bundle of cloth as he spoke, apparently intending to fold the fabric. Before he finished, the small animal representation tumbled free and landed on the floor. The light-haired giant paused and bent down to pick it up.
"Is this hers? The little girl's?" murmured the being, his tone questioning and yet not quite directed towards his audience. "I guess she really is a special child. Not everyone would handle someone like Paul arriving and killing her dog so well that they'd give him their teddy bear."
These last words were punctuated by a slight gesture towards the small object.
Experimentally, the recent crash victim repeated, "Bear? Teddy bear?"
A slight jerk of surprise was the small-headed creature's initial response, but he quickly nodded, "Yes. Teddy bear. This," he gestured to the item again, "is a teddy bear." He set the now-identified object on top of the folded fabric and muttered, "None of those scientists and government agents coming will be able to ask you anything if we don't fix this language barrier." He stared silently for a moment before stating firmly, "A few English lessons are needed then."
The giant walked over to the closed entryway and placed his hand on it. He met the other being's gaze and made certain to have his complete attention. Not that the grey and nearly empty room offered many distractions anyway.
"This is a door. Door," he declared, repeating the key word slowly. Sliding his hand off the door, he continued, "This is a wall. Wall." Bending down, he added, "This is a floor. Floor." Standing back upright, he pointed above them and finished, "And that is a ceiling. Ceiling."
While a few quick nouns might not make the most stimulating conversation, his student dutifully pointed towards the appropriate part of the room and repeated, "Door, wall, floor, ceiling." Frowning slightly in contemplation, he decided to experiment a little. Picking up the small object, he identified, "Teddy bear." Trying to go further, he asked, "Tara teddy bear? Teddy bear Tara?"
Happily, the light-haired giant figured out the intended question and corrected, "Tara's teddy bear. It was Tara's teddy bear."
The slight variation to the girl's name, the slight hissing sound at the end, was enough to indicate possession. A useful piece of information and another step to understanding the language. The tall being quickly added the words bed, pillow, and blanket to his growing vocabulary before looking distracted.
"I have to go now, Paul. I'll be back later, hopefully with something you can eat," he stated. He paused to glance over the extraterrestrial, "And maybe with some new clothes since yours is kind of… shredded." The giant tugged absently at the various articles of his outfit before gesturing towards the absolute disastrous ones his audience currently wore. "The scientists will probably want to study those anyway." He smiled, "Don't worry. Everything will be fine."
With those final words, the light-haired being exited the room and left him alone.
"They want this kept absolutely secret. No one besides me, you, and that Walton girl has seen our discovery so far and the individuals coming to study it only have the vaguest notions of what we have," his superior explained.
The dark-haired man always managed to look disapproving of whoever or whatever he was talking about. Not that his current audience could properly complain about the dismissal of their newly-discovered national secret, referring to this clearly sentient being as an 'it.' He was too far down the chain of command to even consider it. It was only an impossible coincidence that he knew of Paul's existence and in normal circumstances he would not be allowed to have access to this information. Trying to correct or disagree with his superior would be pushing his luck too far.
The mustached man continued, "Until they arrive, not a single whisper of its existence must be heard. You will be in charge of it. Anything that needs to be done concerning it, you will handle it. All of your other duties are currently on hold."
The blond man didn't know how to respond. On the one hand, his superior wished to keep him involved in this very secretive matter. Essentially, he'd just been handed the highest clearance possible on the base. On the other hand, he'd only been allowed this privilege because his superior had no other choice. Any other option, any other person he might chose, would have to be briefed on the situation, which would increase the number of people with knowledge of this sensitive information. And that was something that he'd never do. He had no other options, so that left his superior to hand this task over to him. Of course, he was a fairly ideal candidate to keep a secret. He was relatively new to the base and his lack of any living relatives meant he was the least likely person here to be tempted into a compromising conversation.
Deciding to view it as an honor instead of something negative, he nodded, "Understood, sir."
The dark-haired man continued to explain, "The scientists will undoubtedly be occupied by studying it and the effect its existence could have on our understanding of the universe. They'll want to know if this thing is simply some deformed monkey or something truly new." He frowned slightly as he spoke, though his audience couldn't tell if the expression was in reference to the idea that someone would think that their unusual discovery was a monkey or simply a reflection of his opinion of scientists in general. "But I and more grounded individuals have to think of the bigger picture. One world war just ended a couple of years ago and with the way things are going in Europe, another could be on the way. Our country needs to know if we're facing a new, unknown enemy. Is it an advanced scout of some type? What kind of forces and firepower should we expect? These are the questions the more military-minded individuals will be addressing when they arrive. We need to know what type of threat we're dealing with. This is an opportunity to gather intelligence on the thing and we can't afford to waste it."
"I understand," he nodded again, trying to visualize the child-sized, confused, but obviously intelligent entity that he found calmly sitting with a little girl and was quickly learning English with the dangerous invader from another planet intent on deadly harm that his superior was seeing. He couldn't quite picture Paul as some malicious enemy of the homeland. The girl, Tara, had no fear of the strange being and the blond man felt she might have better judgement than those currently controlling his fate. "Will there be anything else?"
His superior paused, staring down at his neat and organized desk. Not a single sheet of paper was out of place and everything about him was by the book. The dark-haired man was not one to think outside the box; he was one who would strengthen the walls of the box so it would be inescapable. Even encountering Paul, something that was clearly outside of any experience he'd ever considered, barely gave him pause. Protocol and the chain of command gave him all the direction he needed. He would never bend the rules to fit changing situations; he'd bend circumstances to follow the rules. And the rules for finding an unknown being with unknown intentions was to detain said being and to request further instructions from those in charge and with expertise of that particular type of unknown being. Who would be considered the expert of obviously extraterrestrially-based beings would be and whose jurisdiction that falls under, the blond man did not know, but his superior apparently did and had been told to post-pone any questioning until they arrive.
As if following his audience's thoughts, the mustached man remarked, "We have a few days until they arrive, however. Though the need for information from our discovery is important, secrecy is even more important. The crash, and the vehicle's occupant, must be kept from the general public, so they are busy creating a distraction further south. By sheer coincidence, a weather balloon crashed the same night in a small town in New Mexico. Roswell, I believe. All the attention is being placed on that area, making certain that anything unusual is connected to that location instead of the true site. Have enough people who are convinced something happened at a place where it never did, and they will never think to look for clues somewhere else. But that sort of cover-up, by laying a false trail in another location, takes time. Until they are finished, we are on our own. Which should not be a problem, correct?"
"No, sir, I can handle it," the blond man answered.
A quick-supply-gathering trip and he was back at the door to Paul's room. Paul's cell, if he wanted to be honest. Either way, he came with a few items to make things less prison-like. He also intended to transfer the extraterrestrial to another equally secure, but more comfortable room. It would be closer to a hotel room in style, with an attached bathroom and a few more pieces of furniture, and yet would still be locked from the outside and possess an overwhelming amount of grey. If they wanted to keep their unusual guest hidden and secure for several days, he didn't see why Paul couldn't be in more comfortable surroundings. After all, he was the one in charge of handling the matters concerning the small being. It was his responsibility to take care of him and he felt a different room would be better.
Unfortunately, all the thoughts concerning his intentions to make their peculiar entity more content vanished as he opened the door. The grey-walled room was absolutely deserted. The bed, the folded blanket, and even the teddy bear still remained undisturbed, but the short occupant was nowhere to be seen.
It didn't make sense. Granted, due to the fact most of the people on base believed the torn-up ship was the most important and only thing recovered from the site, everyone was guarding the twisted pieces of metal instead of a supposedly empty room. But it was locked and someone would have noticed the skinny being wandering around. There was no logical way he could have escaped, but the vacant room was all the evidence required to disprove that assumption. And if Paul was missing, he was in more trouble than he could possibly imagine.
The blond man took another step into the room, trying to convince himself that the extraterrestrial had managed to hide instead of escape. Still, considering that the only piece of furniture in the concrete cube was a cot, there was nowhere to conceal even the short being from sight. He was, undeniably, gone.
Abruptly, the skinny entity materialized directly in front of him. The blond man, as much as he would deny it later, stumbled backwards while uttering a wordless yelp of surprise. Somehow, he managed not to drop the items in his hands during his moment of panic, but it was a near thing.
As the man tried to slow down his racing heart, Paul began chuckling. As odd as it might seem that such a strange being would have anything in common with humanity, it was obvious that he was laughing at the reaction and found it to be funny. If he forgot for second he was dealing with something clearly not from Earth, it was easy to imagine as some regular person pulling a prank on a friend. Viewed that way, he couldn't help chuckling slightly himself.
"That was pretty good, Paul," the blond man acknowledged. "I didn't know you could… do whatever it was you just did. Disappear like that." Walking across the room, he set down his burdens. "I brought some food and a pair of pants. I guessed on the size, but I think it should work."
The big-eyed being studied the food choices curiously, apparently trying to decide on what he'd been provided was. Carefully, Paul picked up the apple and looked toward the blond man for answers.
"That is an apple. Apple," he answered. "It's a type of food. You eat it."
He mimed the act of taking a bite out of the fruit, which the extraterrestrial immediately grasped. The short entity swiftly consumed the apple, only stopping when his companion demonstrated that the core was inedible. Having concluded that everything resting on the plate was intended as a meal, Paul worked his way through the bread and carrots while taking a moment to gain the correct name.
After finishing off the glass of water, Paul gave him a slight nod that he assumed was supposed to be some form of acknowledgement and thanks. Before the blond man could respond, the skinny being frowned slightly and tilted his head.
Slowly, the short entity touched his chest and identified, "Paul."
The man nodded in response, wondering where he was going with this. When the extraterrestrial pointed towards the blond human, he realized what the question that Paul wanted to ask had to be. And the obviousness was rather embarrassing to the man.
"My name. You want to know my name," he muttered. "You can call me Mulder. Mulder."
July 7, 1947 was when the whole "Roswell, New Mexico flying saucer crash" thing happened. And going by the calendar in Tara's house, that is pretty much when Paul arrived too. To put that into perspective, World War II ended in 1945. Also, the Cold War pretty much officially began May 22, 1947 from my research. And the C.I.A. won't be officially formed until September, just in case you were wondering. Thus, he ended up crashing during a pretty paranoid time period. Good thing that at least one person around there is willing to give our alien a chance.
And yes, I named his buddy after the "X-files" character. Paul did say that the character Agent Mulder was his idea. Perhaps he drew inspiration on the name from someone he knew.
Until next time, I hope you liked the chapter.