Taggart sat on the steps of the police station. Things had been quiet in the last week or so since the female alien had been brought here. She’d survived the surgery alright, but either as some kind of coping mechanism, or possibly through loss of blood, she’d been unconscious. It wasn’t clear if she was simply sleeping, or in a true coma, as they knew nothing about her, or her physiology, other than what they were able to document while trying to save her life.
The bullet from the rifle had penetrated her armor, but through luck, or perhaps as a testament to the durability of the metal- which they had stripped from the elf nearly as soon as she’d arrived on the stretcher and was still undergoing tests, the bullet had been deflected up, and barely missed what they were assuming was her stomach. It had penetrated a lung and perforated her diaphragm, meaning that for a day or two they had her on an artificial breather until her body took over.
Talbot said he hadn’t seen anything like it. She was healing at a rate that astounded the scientists and doctors brought in to study her, and which had never been matched in Humans. They didn’t know how she managed it. As Talbot had so aptly put it: ‘It’s not like she’s out of a comic book, you know, that guy with the claws… But it’s definitely inhuman. We’ve never seen anything like it.’
Taggart frowned and looked down at the small wooden block in his hands. He was sitting off to the side of the training area they’d been set up in, on some stairs that led what he guessed were showers. He’d never gone exploring in the station before now. He’d always been too busy with leading and finding the alien. Now that she was finally here, and wasn’t a threat to anyone at the moment, most of the CIA and FBI personnel had left. At least the ones that didn’t need to be here for some reason or another.
The HK agent that had fired on the elf was being court-marshaled for disobeying the direct order not to fire, but Taggart had recommended he simply be punished instead of jailed. He assumed that Johnson would probably be knocked down a rank, and removed from the HK teams, but he wasn’t sure. And it was out of his hands now, that much was certain. He frowned and tilted the block in his hands from side to side.
He was whittling, something his father had taught him when he was a young boy in the ‘40s. He was trying to figure out just what it was he was carving, as he hadn’t been paying much attention to the strokes he was making. He tilted the carving the other way and finally realized that he had been carving the armor that the elf had been wearing. He’d spent almost an entire day in there with the analysts, looking over the armor, and he had to admit to himself, marveling at it.
The thing was practically a work of art. It was held together by a combination of riveting, welding, and leather straps, but the leather didn’t match any known species of animal. And the welding and riveting was on a level that he wasn’t sure Humans could even match. Every rivet and weld were absolutely perfect, and his fingers tingled when he touched the cold, blue-hued metal. The analysts had informed him that the same strange radiation that they’d found in her blood was coming from the metal.
However, it didn’t seem to be some kind of ambient radiation that was on everything from… wherever she came from, as her pants and shirt were entirely absent the radiation. It was coming from her, from the armor she’d been wearing, and the sword she’d been carrying was practically –glowing- the readings coming off of it were so strong. But otherwise the objects she’d been carrying were practically ‘normal’, if not for the strange materials that most of it was made of.
The cloth didn’t match any known samples, the leather of her boots and leggings didn’t match DNA of any known animal species, and the metals were all strange. Except for one sample of Iron they’d collected from a buckle. That had astounded everyone almost as much as the rest of it had. Wherever she was from, they also had iron. And the iron hadn’t been anything special. It was just… iron. Good old Fe on the Periodic table.
The spectral analysis of her blood was still in it’s preliminary stages, mostly because they’d been afraid of taking more than a little because she’d lost so much during the surgery and from her injuries. The surgery itself had been complicated by the fact that they didn’t have any blood or fluids to give her, meaning that whatever she lost, stayed gone.
Talbot had come up with the idea of using a dialysis machine jury-rigged in ways that Taggart didn’t understand in order to clean and recycle some of her blood, and the doctors credited him with likely saving her life. Taggart supposed that he’d have to reward him somehow soon.
While he waited for something to happen, Taggart continued to muse. He glanced around the room a few times, noticing several soldiers talking animatedly. He pocketed the small knife he’d been using to carve, swept the wood shavings against the wall with his boot, and placed the small carving in one of his pants pockets. He’d likely simply trash it later, but it might come in handy for now.
He stood then made his way toward the two soldiers talking, starting to be able to make out what they were saying as he neared them. “Did you see the blood!?”
“Yeah, I saw it Jones.” The second one seemed almost bored, as if they’d discussed this several times. As they likely had. All the personnel involved, other than those already sent away for debriefing, were being contained here. All communication devices, including phones and computers, had been confiscated. They couldn’t risk anything about what was going on here getting out.
“It was purple, man! Who has purple blood?” Jones continued. “I mean, it was on the floor, and the tools, and the Docs had it on their scrubs. It’s crazy, man.” Jones scoffed incredulously. “This is some straight up Aliens shit, man, I swear.”
Taggart stepped up behind the two soldiers and stepped a little louder than he needed to. Jones turned to stare at Taggart for a moment before he clapped to attention, saluting Taggart. His friend, name “BLYTHE” on his jacket, followed suit quickly after. “Sir!”
Taggart snapped the two a quick salute. “I heard you were talking about our alien friend.”
Blythe frowned and glanced toward Jones for a moment before nodding. “He was.”
“Well.” Taggart began. Talking about the alien wasn’t against the rules or anything, but they were trying to discourage too much talk about it, as it was less likely for rumors and things to start that way. They were hoping that by keeping a lid on discussion would keep rumors and speculation to a minimum. Some of the soldiers were spooked enough as it was, and Taggart didn’t want things to get out of hand. “How about you two go get some lunch, hm? I’d say that there’s probably something you two could be doing other than standing around with your thumbs up your combined asses, no?” He smirked a bit at the end. His soldiers generally knew that he was teasing them, as Taggart preferred not to be a hardass to his command. It tended to grease the wheels, and make subordinates more willing to do what they needed to do, if they didn’t feel threatened or cowed by their command.
Both of them saluted again quickly before hurrying off, two hurried ‘Yes sir’s following them. Taggart smiled and began making his way back toward the tent set up inside the large gymnasium-like space, when he saw Talbot practically come flying out of the plastic tent. He skidded to a halt several feet away.
“General! She’s waking!”
Taggart’s eyebrows flew into what was left of his hair. “We better hurry then! And get the boys!”
Colin and Dwayne were sitting in one of the cells of the prison’s jails, and though it had been dressed up a bit with a TV and magazines and somewhat more comfortable seating, it still felt like a jail cell. They were effectively trapped here until further notice.
Taggart had corralled them in his tent just a few minutes after the elf had been brought into the station for surgery or something, he hadn’t been clear in the details, to explain that it was now out of his hands, and that they were going to be staying here at the station until further notice. He’d allowed them a phone call each to their families and workplaces, to explain that they wouldn’t be home for a while, but that was it. Aside from news, which had moved on from the odd occurrence on the interstate once new information hadn’t been forthcoming, and re-runs of old shows they could find on basic cable, they were bored out of their minds.
Dwayne had tried to get them a gaming console or maybe even an old computer with no internet, but nothing had shown up yet, even though Talbot had promised that he was working on it when he came down for a visit the other day. Dwayne wasn’t even sure what day it was anymore. The soldiers had even taken their watches, since they were digital, and no natural light got down here, since the jail cells were underground.
There was a clamor down the hall, and Dwayne and Colin both stepped out of the cell to see what was going on. They were stuck on this floor, where they had three different cells between the two of them, one for sleeping, one was a makeshift kitchen, and the other was the ‘living room’, where they’d just been, so they weren’t locked in a tiny cell. Just this floor.
The peered down the hallway to see another soldier they didn’t recognize come running. He stopped a step or two away from them and beckoned them with a hand. “The General wants you! She’s waking up!”
Dwayne glanced at Colin and then back to the soldier. “Okay. Cool.”
Slywyn slowly opened her eyes. For the third(or fourth?) time in recent memory, she awoke feeling like she’d been run over by a mammoth. Or maybe chewed on by a shark. Or maybe a little bit of both. She felt like shit, she quickly decided, and she didn’t like it. She also felt strangely naked.
She managed to open an eye and also immediately decided that it was far too bright, in wherever she was. She raised a hand over her head- well, attempted to. She found that she couldn’t even manage that. She was trapped in some kind of white, scratchy cloth that she again decided she didn’t like- so many things she didn’t like about this situation.
She struggled against the itchy fabric for a moment before she finally managed to free an arm. She also noticed that she felt much weaker than she would have liked to feel when waking up in an odd place. She placed an arm over her eyes and opened both of them, now that they were shielded from the sun-like light overhead.
She was in some kind of very strange room. It was very bright, the bed, or whatever it was she was on, was very, very uncomfortable, the blanket itched, and she was cold. This place smelled like death and blood, though she quickly realized it smelled like -her- blood. She frowned at this as she began to remember why she was here in the first place. She’d been shot by one of the strange, smaller Humans, with a gun that she didn’t recognize. She certainly couldn’t build it, she was sure of that.
She let out a quiet groan and cursed in Darnassian. She felt so weak that even holding her arm over her head was taxing. And when she tried to take a deep breath she had to catch herself because of the pain. That’s because you got yourself shot in the stomach, stupid, She remembered.
She let her arm fall to the bed and squinted her eyes while they continued to adjust to the bright light. She had no idea where she was, she was cold, tired, weak, and for the first time she noticed that there were two Humans holding what looked like clipboards of some kind on the other side of what appeared to be glass.
Today was not going to be a good day. She could feel it.