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Chapter 1 – Found
I could tell by the way he looked at me. He was afraid.
I was totally alien to him. And I guess, he was totally alien to me, too.
His skin was so pale. His hair was short and the colour of dirt. His eyes were mostly brown, with a little black circle in the middle and white around the outside. That was weird. But as far as the shape of his body went, he was okay. Well, maybe more than okay. For an alien. I mean, he had two arms, two legs, one head, and a whole lot of muscle under those primitive clothes.
He stood staring at me, his back rigid and his face a mask of forced calm.
I was in a dangerous situation. I was on an unknown and possibly hostile planet with an inoperable ship and had been caught red-handed sleeping in this alien’s animals’ quarters. And all I could think about was how well-muscled he was. I must’ve lost my mind after the crash. How could I be attracted to an alien? I mean, I didn’t even know if our species were compatible. Agh! Why was I even thinking about this?
This was serious. I needed to focus. I couldn’t see if he held a weapon in his other hand. I had a laser on my belt that was set to stun, but I didn’t want to use it if I could help it. I needed this alien, as much as I hated to admit it. There were no other dwellings around here for a great distance, and I was cold and hungry. There were rations in the ship, but I couldn’t limp back there tonight. I might just pass out on the way.
“Greetings,” I put my hands up, palms out. “I am not your enemy.” I wondered if he spoke any of the languages I knew. Probably not. I was way out in the rocks here.
His eyes widened and he said something, but I didn’t recognise the dialect. Great.
I took a step forward and my head felt fuzzy. “I am peaceful. I need food and warmth.” I made a gesture of putting food in my mouth and rubbed my upper arms to show that I was cold.
He responded by showing me the weapon he’d been hiding. Just what I needed. I didn’t want to hurt him or scare him off. I just wanted to try to communicate enough to get the things I needed. I moved my hands so that they were slightly raised and away from my body, so he could see that I wasn’t going to try anything. “I don’t mean you any harm, but I cannot let you hurt me. I’m sorry.”
He said something else and pointed the weapon at my chest, which made me look at his chest. It was broad and I could see the muscles bulging a little under the clothing he wore. I cursed under my breath. I was crazy.
I had to try to focus. How could I remove the weapon without freaking him out? This would take some doing.
Maybe if I could work out how it worked, then I could disable it. He wasn’t going to show it to me, so I’d have to feel for it.
I reached out with my mind, stretching out the invisible tendrils until they reached the weapon. Huh?
It was very primitive. Just a simple projectile weapon. Easy to fix. I started by teleporting the powdered substance from all of the projectiles inside it to a place on the ground nearby. I really didn’t want the whole thing to explode and blow his hand off. That would be disastrous. And a damn shame. He would be damaged. And I liked looking at him the way he was.
He said something else, but I had to keep my attention on the weapon. I concentrated on the barrel section and focused my mind. I created a bit of heat, but I had to keep it localised so he wouldn’t feel the heat in his hand.
After a while, I relaxed. It was done. I’d fused the projectile to the barrel. It wasn’t going anywhere. And he wouldn’t be able to load any other projectiles into it either. Good.
Now I needed to focus on him. I needed to gain his trust somehow. I slowly reached for my laser and he tensed up, holding his weapon out further from his body. I got the impression that he wasn’t very proficient with the weapon and that he didn’t really want to use it, but he would if he had to. Fair enough.
“Uh.” I nearly lost my balance. My head hurt. Using my mind like that wasn’t such a good idea. I thought I’d hit my head in the crash. The dull ache I’d been feeling turned into a full blown headache of migraine proportions.
I gritted my teeth against the pain, pulled the laser pistol out of its holster and held it by the butt with two fingers. I lowered it to the ground and stepped back. Maybe that would help.
Oh, no. Bending over like that was not a good idea.
He seemed pleased with that. He stepped forward and picked it up. I managed to smile at him.
How could I communicate and make him understand me? My stomach gurgled and growled so loudly. His eyes widened. I felt the heat rush to my cheeks. I didn’t realise how hungry I was.
He looked into my eyes and made a hand gesture as if he was eating something. I nodded vigorously, making the same movements. “Yes. I’m very hungry. Can you help?”
I immediately regretted nodding my head like that. My head throbbed even more. This was not good.
I wasn’t sure if I could eat the same food as him. The ship’s computer hadn’t been able to provide enough information about this planet before it died. I knew that it had a similar atmosphere to home and carbon-based life forms and a few other details, but not really anything about culture and food and more detailed anatomy.
That got me thinking about the alien’s anatomy again. I was really messed up. It must be the result of hitting my head so hard.
A pain shot up the side of my head. Yep. I must’ve hit it a lot harder than I thought. I’d treated my leg injury and not checked out my head. That was a dumb move.
I gingerly touched the right side of my head, toward the back, and found a large lump. The pain spiked and my legs wobbled a bit. When I pulled my hand away and looked at it, my fingers were covered in blood.
I looked up at the alien. He looked concerned. That was weird. He held a weapon on me and he was worried about me. Go figure.
Wait. Something was wrong. I didn’t feel right. My head was really fuzzy. The whole room started to tilt and there was blackness clouding the edges of my vision. This was so not good.
I had no idea what the alien would do if I fainted… Oh… no…
Blackness washed over me.
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