I could feel my heart pounding and my breath shortening as all sorts of possibilities came into my head. What if they were here to make first contact and help build a better world, like the Vulcans on Star Trek? What if they were here to eat us, like that episode of The Twilight Zone? I heard a few sounds, but I was so lost in my own little world that I wasn't even paying attention.
I can tell you that the ship wasn't exactly a flying saucer. It wasn't really that big and it was about as long as a school bus. The front end was a pod, shaped almost like an egg. Extending from the back of the pod was a long, narrow shaft. There were two crooked, stubby winglike things, and on the end of each wing was a long tube that glowed bright blue on the back end.
The spaceship looked harmless, save for the sharp pointed tail on the back of it. I guess I was a little scared, but there was an excited girl in me screaming.
"We're about to make first contact with an alien life-form!"
Yeah, I ended up pulling a Homer Simpson and saying that out loud.
"I can see the headlines now, 'six kids disappear without a trace. Authorities blame crazy ax-murderers, despite mysterious appearances of crop circles,'" Marco said.
Okay, that was actually funny, so I had to laugh.
"It's stopping," Rachel said, as the ship came down slower and slower.
"I think it sees us," Marco said. "Should we run? Maybe we should run home and get a camera. Do you know how much money we could get for a video of a real UFO?"
"If we run, they might... I don't know, zap us with phasers on full power," Jake said, jokingly.
"Phasers are only on Star Trek," Marco said, condescendingly.
A spaceship's landing right near us and the two cutest boys at my school are Star Trek fans. This was the best day of my life. It would also turn out to the worst.
"I think it's going to land," The blond haired boy said, the only one besides me who was grinning like mad.
"It's coming right at us!" Jake yelled, as the ship began to descend.
I could feel my heartbeat quickening to the point that I thought it would shut down. This could be the most important event in my life and there was no way in hell I was going to miss it. The fact that the others stuck around proved that they felt the same way.
"It isn't very big, is it?" I heard Rachel whisper.
"It's about—" Jake began. "—about three or four times as big as our minivan."
"We should tell someone," Marco said. "I mean, this is kind of major, you know? Spaceships don't just land in the construction site every day. We should call the cops or the army or the president or something. We'd be totally famous. We'd get to be on Letterman for sure."
"No!" I said, my words coming out a little harsher than I intended. "I mean, they'd perform experiments on him. Like in E.T."
"You get that the alien might not be friendly?" Marco asked, in a condescending tone. "And why do you assume it's a he?"
I could feel my entire face turn red. Maybe I was romanticizing it a little, but what do you expect from a sci-fi geek?
"Karen's right," Rachel said harshly to Marco, as she put her hands on her hips. "I think we should try to talk to it instead. I mean, if that's even possible."
The blond haired boy nodded and stepped forward, holding out his hands. I also stepped forward, wanting to see who would come out. "It's safe," the boy said in a loud, clear voice. "We won't hurt you."
"Do you think they speak English?" Jake wondered.
"It's all right," I said, to the alien. "You'll be safe here."
I know, that was stupid. You try making first contact with an alien life form and see if you do any better.
"Do you think they speak English?" Jake wondered.
"Well, everyone speaks English on Star Trek," Cassie said with a nervous laugh.
The boy tried again. "Please, come out. We won't hurt you."
I held up my hands to show that I carried no weapons with me. I wanted to ask the aliens not to eat us, but I was afraid that it would give them ideas.
I froze. I heard a voice, but it had no sound. Like it was inside my head. Was he telepathic? Was is that all dream and I would wake up in my bed? This all seemed way too fantastic to be real! There was only one thing I knew for sure, the voice definitely sounded like a male.
"Did everyone hear that?" The boy whispered.
We all nodded at once, very slowly.
"Can you come out?" The boy asked, loudly.
Yes. Do not be frightened.
"We won't be frightened," The boy said.
"Speak for yourself," Jake muttered, as the others giggled nervously.
"W-well, I won't be frightened," I said to the voice, nervously. "And neither will...."
"Tobias," the boy said.
"Tobias," I finished, addressing the voice.
A thin arc of light appeared, a doorway, opening slowly in the smooth side of the pod part of the ship. All I could do was stupidly stand there as the opening grew, like a crescent moon at first, then a full, bright circle. And then he appeared.
At first glance, the creature looked like a centaur. You know, those half-horse half-human creatures from Greek Mythology. Except, this creature was covered with a mix of blue and tan fur and had three vertical slits where his mouth should've been. His eyes were also abnormal, green with two eyes where they should have been and another two on top on what seemed like horns and they could move in any direction. I'll say one thing, good luck sneaking up on this guy. The most shocking thing was the tail, which was like a scorpion's, thick and powerful-looking with a curved horn or stinger that looked incredibly sharp. You might think I'm weird, but the creature had a majestic, yet dangerous, beauty to him.
"Hello," Tobias said, gently, like he was talking to a baby and grinning his head off.
I have to admit that I was also smiling. When I looked at the alien, I had a strange feeling. Like he was supposed to land here and we were supposed to greet him. I can't explain it but, at that moment, I knew he wasn't dangerous.
Hello, the alien said, in that silent way that you only heard inside your head.
"Hi," we all said back.
I held out my hand for the alien to shake. "Welcome to Earth."
Thank you, The alien said, as he staggered, falling out of the ship to the ground.
Tobias tried to grab him and hold him up, but the alien slipped from his grasp and fell back to the dirt.
"Look!" Cassie cried. She pointed at a burn that covered half the alien's right side. "He's hurt."
Yes. I am dying, he said.
"Can we help you? We can call an ambulance or something," Marco said.
"We can bandage that wound," Cassie said. "Jake, give me your shirt. We can tear it up and make bandages." I wasn't surprised that Cassie was coming up with solutions. Remember when I said she lived on a barn? Well, that's because both of her parents are veterinarians. Though, I'm not sure if I'd classify this creature as an animal.
No. I will die. The wound is fatal.
"NO!" Jake cried. "You can't die. You're the first alien ever to come to Earth. You can't die."
Jake voiced exactly what I felt. The most magnificent creature I've, any of us, has ever seen and he was dying right in front of our eyes. Okay, maybe Jake didn't feel exactly how I felt, but I was sure that no one wanted him to die.
I am not the first. There are many, many others.
"Others?" I repeated, stupidly.
"Other aliens? Like you?" Tobias demanded.
The alien shook his big head slowly, side to side. Not like me.
I heard a silent cry of pain inside my head, putting my hand on it. That horrible echo gave me a feeling. Like I was actually feeling him dying.
Not like me, he repeated. They are different.
"Different? How?" Jake said.
Inside me, there were two conflicting emotions. One was sadness about the alien dying and the other was joy about meeting a new race of creatures. What he said next destroyed any joy I felt.
They have come to destroy you.