The third day after her arrival on the planet, Slywyn woke sore and tired. She’d cleaned her strange home from top to bottom after concluding that her environment was probably what was causing her to feel ill. She didn’t bother to sit up. She felt awful.
Sly looked over to the can tied to her tripwire, and it was undisturbed. She let out a groan and finally prodded herself into sitting up. She put a hand to her forehead and let her head rest in her hand for a moment. She felt sick, limp, and drained. Her whole body ached, her stomach was roiling even though she hadn’t eaten last night, and she felt like she was cooking in her armor.
She pulled herself out of her bed, stumbled a bit and bumped into the wall. She hung there for a moment, supporting herself against the steadiness of the wall. Her vision was spinning and she felt lightheaded. She continued to the kitchen. She still had no idea what was causing her to feel this way. Was it the food? Was it some kind of sickness brought on by the warphole? Was it a disease?
She groaned and peered out the window. It was raining. Sly leaned her face against the window, feeling the cool caress of the glass. She shut her eyes, remaining there until her heated skin began to heat the window. Once the coolness was gone, she continued her journey down the hallway. She wanted something to settle her stomach.
Her objective was a sealed pack of crackers she’d seen in the kitchen. Once when she was a little girl, her mother had made some thin wafer crackers that had helped settle her stomach when she ate a rotten fruit. Once she’d let them sit for a while and soak up whatever had been making her feel awful, her stomach had settled. She almost wished her mother was here. Her legs felt like they didn’t have the strength to reach the kitchen.
Sly could almost feel her temperature rising the more she walked, and she began shedding her armor. Attackers be damned. She couldn’t fight them off in this condition anyway. And if she was going to die, at least she’d die comfortable if she couldn’t fight.
Shaking her head to try to clear the melodramatic thoughts, Sly finally reached the kitchen. She yanked open the cabinet door, pausing for a moment as she was almost overcome by nausea. She stuck her hand into the cabinet once the nausea had mostly faded, then pulled free the package. She tore it open, the plastic giving her immense amounts of trouble when it would have been child’s play before.
One problem. When Sly stuffed the crackers into her mouth, she realized that her mouth was suffering from pretty much the same problem the rest of her was. It was really really hot. And she couldn’t remember the last time she’d had something to drink.
Her eyes scanned the kitchen as her mouth crunched on the now-incredibly-sticky cracker paste that was in danger of beginning to choke her. She’d even take one of the horrible red cans. If she hadn’t drained all of them, that is. Sly lurched her way toward the sink. The water’d begun to run clear last night, even if it tasted like Stormwind’s canal water that was used for sewage.
Sly stuck her face into the faucet and turned it on, trying to wash down the cracker-y mess she’d gotten herself into. She gulped water as soon as she could, eventually clearing the blockage in her mouth. Even though, now, she felt as if she had giant chunks of cracker still stuck everywhere. Which she did.
As she turned away from the counter, the nausea hit her again. Her knees gave out and she collapsed to them, bent over herself and dry heaving on the floor. What the hell was going on? And then, out of nowhere, the heat returned. This time, however, she literally felt like she was on fire. Sly gasped for breath, her chest restricting in the heat.
Her head swiveled, looking for anything she could to relieve the terrible heat, when the door caught her eye. Sly half crawled, half stumbled her way to the door before she pulled it open. Unable to stand, she simply tumbled down the steps into the rain. And landed right on the shredded remains of the cans she’d put there for her defense.
Slywyn couldn’t even muster a groan of dim pain, as far into the grip of fever as she was. She rolled off the cans and simply turned herself onto her back, her face up into the rain. Her hair was splayed behind her like a fan, and she was completely exposed, but she didn’t care. The rain felt like a miracle from the Goddess on her body, helping to cool her.
It didn’t even register that it was still daylight out.
Earlier that morning.
Colin and Dwayne were both pushed forward against their seatbelts as their SUV lurched to a stop. They’d pulled up in front of the town’s police station, which now looked like some kind of command post straight out of a movie. There were government agents everywhere, and every one of them had an earpiece of some kind, constantly in contact with each other.
One of the Suits from their vehicle hopped out as soon as it stopped, and made his way to Colin’s door. He pulled it open swiftly, then motioned for both of them to exit. “The quicker we get this done, the quicker the both of you return home, got it?”
They nodded as one, then both filed out of the car. They stood in awe of the proceedings for a moment before both of them were ushered into the building flanked by multiple Suits. Dwayne was the first to speak as they made for the Police Station door. “Who are you guys?”
One of the Suits glanced to the side. “This is a CIA and FBI joint task force. Our little visitor attracted a lot of attention. The nearby military base picked it up when it materialized over the I-90. Some kind of energy reading on the radar.”
Dwayne blinked. He hadn’t exactly expected information. Surprised and somewhat mollified, he remained silent as the two of them were lead to their seats. There was activity all around them. Everyone was presenting some kind of information to everyone else, and the whole place felt alive and excited. Maybe they were just relieved that First Contact hadn’t been with someone who immediately started shooting? It sure seemed like it was that way. No bad alien movies today.
Dwayne’s attention was drawn to a particularly loud man with a buzz cut talking to a stereotypical scrawny guy in what looked like a lab coat. They were discussing rather animatedly and heading straight this way.
“- mean to tell me that this thing is real, Talbot?”
“Yes, General Taggart.”
Dwayne blinked a bit. Now the buzz-cut guy’s green suit made sense. He’d thought he was dressed like the Riddler at first.
“Alright. I’m listening.”
“Of course, Sir. You see, we got a DNA sample off the blood we collected from the vehicle we confiscated.”
The General blinked and spit coffee. “You –what-.”
“Yes, sir. And when we analyzed it it came back with a reading that the machine couldn’t actually understand. You see, where Humans have 23 pairs of Chromosomes, this sample had 34.”
“Yes, sir. And the machine found traces of some kind of energy in the blood itself. It faded before we could collect a reading off of it, but we know for sure it was some kind of radiation we’ve never actually encountered before sir.”
“-WHAT!-” The General grabbed Talbot by his arm, stopping him right in front of Dwayne and Colin. “You mean to tell me that not only is this thing certifiably alien, we’ve collected a blood sample, found out that it is nothing like us, and it’s blood is radioactive.”
“That’s the idea, sir.”
General Taggart put a hand to his face and quickly ran it down, trying to coax his thoughts. “Very well. Any hostile activity?”
“None at all, sir. In fact, we’ve identified the object that was on her back. It was a sword, sir.”
“Wait. You’re telling me that it’s a -she-. And she was carrying weaponry?”
Talbot blushed slightly. “I’ve studied the footage quite extensively General. Her facial structure is reminiscent of both feline and human female facial anatomy. We’ve enhanced the video we pulled from YouTube as much as possible, which has allowed for us to do quite the study of her and her armor.”
“No one mentioned anything about armor.”
“It’s how she survived the car crash, General.”
Sly sat up after what felt like ages. The sun was quickly going down over the tree tops, but she felt somewhat better than she had before. She put her hand to her head, brushing away a bit of water from the rain. Her hair was a tangled and dirty mess, but at least she wasn’t cooking alive in her skin anymore. Her hand against her head told her two things. She was no longer as hot as she was before. And that she was covered in dirt. And very very wet.
She pushed herself to her feet, crouching for a moment as a fit of dizziness washed over her. As it passed she crunched back over the crushed cans, dimly noting that rain plus crushed cans equals lack of dirt coverage and a less-than-effective trap. She pushed her way back inside, dripping water and dirt across her newly-cleaned floors. She didn’t quite care.
She lurched her way to the bathroom where she’d located a shower the night before. Without bothering to strip she pulled the curtain open and fell rather than climbed into the tub. She fumbled for a moment before she found the control-things, quickly turning on the cold water.
She knew which one was the cold water because she turned on the hot water the night before and burnt her arm. Being a smart Night Elf, Sly quickly realized the correlation between the red box and the blue squiggly and hot and cold water. Deciding to momentarily drown herself in cold water and the misery of the flu, she simply remained sprawled in the bottom of the shower, clothes, armor, dirt, and all.
Jinx put his fingers against the bridge of his nose and squeezed, his eyes shut against the building headache. He’d pulled in every favor anyone had ever owed him ever, and a few that people didn’t know they actually owed him to boot to get the Dwarven Engineering guild down to his lab. What he hadn’t realized was that “Dwarven Engineering guild” apparently meant “Dwarven get-falling-down-drunk-and-blow-shit-up guild”. Most of them didn’t know anything about Engineering other than “Righty-tighty, lefty-loosey”, and Jinx was doing more teaching than building at the moment.
“You don’t know what a trans-dimensional discombobulator is?”
Jinx let out a loud sigh. “Fit the glowing blue thing into the circle marked with the blue circle. Just like the glowing blue thing is.” He marked both items with blue circles from the marker he was carrying.
The Dwarf looked from one to the other and back again before it hit him. “Oh! Aye!” He then went about shoving the rather delicate piece of machinery into it’s home in a somewhat rough manner.
Jinx sighed again, sitting in his chair in front of his desk. Which was, for the moment, covered in the plans for rebuilding the machine that had sent Slywyn wherever she was now. The only difference between the two was that this one was equipped with a wormhole generator. That was fully functional. And grounded.
Dwayne looked at Colin, then back to the General. He looked back to Colin and put a finger to his lips. He wanted to hear everything that these two had to say.
The General was still reeling from finding out that the alien had been struck by a car- and survived.
“Yes, sir. I am aware of the irony. That an alien would ‘land’, in a manner of speaking, and be immediately hit by a car.”
General Taggart recovered enough to speak. “Alright. So tell me, Talbot. She’s carrying weaponry. Was struck by a car. And surrounded by citizens with cell phones that drove her off. That’s what you’re telling me right now?”
“Indeed I am sir.”
Taggart looked thoughtful for a moment. “I would assume that this alien is not hostile. She had ample time and opportunity to go on a spree, and did not.”
“We had been leaning that way, sir”, Talbot countered, “But at the same time, it could have been some kind of disorientation from her method of entry. You see, according to eyewitness accounts she literally fell out of the sky and landed on her face. From an entry point about eleven feet off the ground.”
“I see. Are you aware that the CIA already has hunter/killer teams out in the wilderness around town searching for this ali-” Talbot gave the General a look, and he sighed. “For her. Christ, Talbot, how many times did you watch the video.”
Talbot’s face turned a slightly darker shade of pink. “Enough.”
The General shot another look before reaching for a radio on his belt. “General Taggart to H/K Leader, over.”
The radio crackled with static for a moment before a quiet voice answered. “This is H/K leader, over.”
“Have all teams switch to non-lethal weaponry unless attacked. This alien has shown no hostile tendencies and I will not start a war over a misunderstanding, you hear me? Over.”
“Copy, General. Will inform teams. H/K Leader, over and out.”
The General put his radio back in it’s holster on his belt, then his eyes went to Dwayne and Colin, noticing them for the first time. He drew back in surprise. “And who the fuck are these two jokers?”
Dwayne recoiled slightly, and Colin’s mouth turned up into the tiniest of smirks. Talbot spoke for them. “From what I understand these two have some information on her, Sir.”
General Taggart raised an eyebrow and motioned for Dwayne and Colin to come with him. “Very well. Follow me, boys.”
Dwayne looked at Colin before standing and beginning to walk after the General, who was already moving down the hall. Colin followed momentarily, keeping in step behind Dwayne.