#2: A nerd among us
His vital signs are stabilizing.
Is he damaged? A pause. Mental capacity impacted at all?
No. No. For a creature that has never experienced a planet-bound personal hyper jump, he is remarkably well. Perhaps we have underestimated the Terrans as allies.
I tried to keep my breathing deep and eyes from fluttering open, but I was anxious to see where I was, what had happened and who was talking. Was I in a hospital room?
No more talk of the Terrans. You’ve seen the vids of our meetings with their governing bodies. They are still too young and immature. Galven was wrong to bring this one.
There was a moment of silence, then I felt something slipping from my wrists and ankles.
“You can stop pretending to sleep, Terran,” a deep, harsh voice said as a finger tapped on my forehead. “We know you are awake.”
Expecting the bright light, I slowly squinted my eyes open and saw a giant fish head staring at me. Beside the fish was what appeared to be a neon yellow humanoid formed of stone. We all three turned to look at a monitor that showed – what could only have been – my heart rate jumping up a bit. Luckily, I am a nerd, a geek, heavily into pop culture. My heart accelerated not from fear, but from the sheer awesomeness of being in the presence of aliens. They had to be aliens, right? I didn’t think I’d ever had a dream involving fish people, but lo-and-behold, here one was, staring at me with those big old googly eyes.
I was also aware that I was lying on a cold metal table clad in only a t-shirt with a huge hole under the right arm and a pair of black Hanes boxer shorts. Awkward way to make first contact with an alien species.
I sat up slowly and hesitated, waiting for them to rush me. No one moved. I shifted and bent my legs over the side of the exam table I had been resting on. But more importantly, where was I, how’d I get here and what about the guy/thing that had brought me here?
“You are aboard our capital ship,” the rock being spoke. “One of our warriors brought you here via a portable trans-dimensional recall and rescue beacon. Commonly known as a relocator. You are unharmed and in perfect health, however, Galven did not survive much longer after your arrival. His wounds were critical.”
I nodded. Was he reading my mind? How’d he known what I was thinking? I stared intensely at the two aliens and broadcast another series of questions at them. They stared at me for a few minutes, probably discussing what I had asked them between themselves. Evidently there was a disagreement because they turned their heads and glared at one another briefly and then their eyes were back at me.
The rock guy picked up a device from a table near him and approached me. He held up a rocky, five-fingered hand and I took it as a sign of at ease. The device trilled a moment as he ran it around my head and halfway down my chest.
“It says he is capable of speech, there is no damage to his vocal cords. I am unsure why he will not speak.”
Fish approached. “Are you unwell, Terran? Do you need more time to collect your wits.”
I opened my mouth a little, then said, “You don’t communicate telepathically?”
They looked at each other again and then both emitted what I can only assume was a snicker of laughter. My cheeks may have blushed a tad, but I quickly drew myself up to my feet with no disorientation.
“What is your name, Terran?” Rock asked.
“My name is Trey Dawson, thirty-two years old. I come from the planet we call Earth, third planet from our sun. Who are you?”
Gurgling and managing a smile, Fish replied first. “The name is Dirgle Tho’loglin, 79 years old. From the planet we call Oriangar. Ours is the fourth from our star. I am also commander of the Extruder, a battle cruiser in the fleet.”
Rock tossed the device he had been scanning me with back to the table. “I am Rocky Boulder, a member of the Stone Guard. I come from the home-world Gravel and this is my 250th year of life.”
“Rocky Boulder?” I repeated in disbelief. “Are you serious?”
“No. Actually my name is Harold Belanoir. I’m 36 in your years and come from a world known in the League as Brine-hold. My profession by choice is chief medical for the Extruder.” He motioned to Commander Tho’loglin. “My commander and I shuttled over as soon as we heard you and our companion had arrived. I’ve been treating you personally since.”
I was aboard an alien spaceship, one of a larger fleet, I would assume. Having a discussion with two aliens, a doctor made of stone and his commander, a fish. Another alien brought me here by beaming us through time and space in a matter of … What?
“How long have I been here?”
The doctor shrugged and shook his head. “But Harold he is okay with.”
“Almost a day, 35 hours,” Tho’loglin answered. “You must be hungry, come. We will get you nourishment. Our replicators can produce food from your world.”
The nerd inside me couldn’t resist. I should be freaking out, curled in a corner and crying for my life no matter what they said to me. But here I was, a million questions on my mind. I had to know more!
“You know about Earth?”
Belanoir answered first. “Yes, we have actually visited your world several times over the years. Of course, we know your world as Terra, and your people as Terrans. We had plans to offer your people admission into our League of Planets and recruit your people for our dwindling military. However, your Earth Government has too tight a grip on the minds of your race. They hold you under their thumb and feed you only what they wish you to know and learn. So, our High Council has deemed the Terran race as too young and immature to join our ranks. We still keep check on you, though.”
Tho’loglin grunted and shook his large scaly head. “I certainly hope you are never taken prisoner, Harold,” he signed. “With the way you offer information, we’d be sure to lose this war.” He patted his friend on the shoulder with a finned hand. “But enough talk for now. We will see to your care first, then discuss why you were brought here.”
We were about to leave the medical bay when suddenly another thought struck me. “Excuse me,” I said suddenly, stopping in my tracks. “You wouldn’t happen to have any clothes in my size, would you? I didn’t have time to pack.”
Belanoir burst into a deep thundering laughter. “I will like this one.”