The Parlaxon: Arrival

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The Parlaxon: Arrival

Post by Machine Man on Sun May 27, 2018 11:37 pm

"Sir, scanners are picking up an undocumented object on Earth approach." The technician, using a neural implant, flipped through her HUD, and with the flick of her wrist she sent a copy of her screen to her superior, the Operations Commander on duty. Commander Black reviewed the data, expanding his view until he could see both the Earth and the referenced object.

"Let the log show that the unidentified object was confirmed as 0253 hours, March the 25th, 2021. Activate OSIRIS. Logistics, calculate its flight path and projected impact location."

A few seconds ticked by while his subordinates made the necessary calculations. "Sir, impact location is downtown Atlanta, Georgia. Destructive capabilities... judging by size and speed it will destroy approximately six city blocks. The impact will cause city-wide power outages, numerous casualties and injuries, downed services..."

"Target the object and destroy it." The Commander's order was swift and direct, having heard of the destruction the object would cause and the number of lives it would effect if allowed to impact the surface of their planet. The world depended on his ability to assess a situation and act accordingly, and Commander Black was not about to fail in his duty.

Ordinance Officer Jenna nodded dutifully. Her fingers danced through the air, directing the defense satellite toward the approaching object. Armed and ready to fire, the OSIRIS weapon flared with energy and suddenly discharged a beam of yellow light. The blast should have hit the object dead-center, but at the last moment it's course changed. Still it was clipped by the attack, sending it spiraling off course.

Alarms sounded and the lights flashed inside the control room, sending everyone inside into a state of emergency. "Report," Black shouted.

"I'm not sure what happened, sir! OSIRIS fired, but the target... moved, like a course correction."

"Asteroids don't make course corrections, Jenna. Can we fire again?"

"Yes, sir," Jenna answered, calibrating the defensive satellite for another strike. Before she could achieve a target solution, however, the object changed course again, darting away from it's previous destination, venting smoke as it streaked through the atmosphere.

________

Arkhal's small craft exited subspace, its dark matter drive spinning down and cooling offer after the long trek. Though it seemed to have only taken hours to complete, his ship had traveled quite a long way. As its systems came back online, the on-board AI began giving Arkhal a report on their current location, describing the composition of the solar system, the number of celestial bodies and habitable planets, and a readout of the level of technology founded by those native to the star system. While they were advancing well through the chain of achievement, they were still had a long way to go to reach his level.

His mission was a simple one: Survey the inhabitants of the third planet from their sun and determine whether admittance into the Star League, if the invitation should be withheld or withdrawn entirely, or if the locals posed a significant threat to the Star League's inductees. If danger was assumed, quarantine protocols would be initiated and a decision would be made regarding the continued existence of the potentially hostile species.

"Warning! Hostile action detected. Take evasive action immediately." The AI flashed the lights inside the cockpit as words streaked across Arkhal's screen. He rolled the craft to the side, but not in time to completely evade the attack. His ship was struck and sent plummeting toward the surface. Arkhal tried desperately to recover, but it was no use. His craft spun through the atmosphere with smoke billowing behind it. Arkhal flew through the controls, managing to pull the nose up just before it made contact with the ground. The ship's shield softened the blow somewhat, preventing the personal craft from being torn to literal pieces as it skidded across the ground. Despite this, the cockpit filled with smoke. Arkhal gasped and screeched as it felt something sharp pierce his suit and enter his side.

When it finally came to rest, the craft's nose was just barely submerged in a large body of water, the rest of the craft laying on the shore. The large lake was normally quite peaceful, resting on the edge of private property in a rural community in Ohio. Arkhal grunted and growled as he tried to free himself from the destroyed vessel, finally exiting the cockpit and landing hard on the ground. His vision faded in and out as he fought to remain conscious in unfamiliar territory. The AI copied its data and transferred it to Arkhal's in-suit computer to assist him in case of a system failure.

"Arkhal, you are severely injured. Please find the field medical kit to the rear of the ship, in a compartment on the underbelly." Wordlessly Arkhal took the recommendation and searched. The medkit was missing some of its supplies, but most of its contents were intact. Knowing that the locals would have witnessed the crash, Arkhal knew he could not stay near his ship. Gathering what he could, including the remainder of his strength, he took off on foot, tracking the sun as it rose in the east. He sought out the nearest shelter, and would have engaged his cloaking device were it not for the hunk of metal protruding from his side.

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Re: The Parlaxon: Arrival

Post by Danry on Mon May 28, 2018 9:53 pm

"Willow? Willow! Oh, get up, if your father finds out you're still sleeping, he'll tan your hide, girl. Your brothers have been up with the sun, and just because it's summer time doesn't mean you get to be lazy."

The young girl listened to her mother's morning lecture without even opening her eyes. It was the same thing every day: get up before the sun, do the chores, relax for about ten seconds, then continue. Being raised on a farm was alright, she supposed, but for a ten year old girl who valued her sleep, it was horrifying.

"I'm coming, Mama." Willow sat up and rubbed the sleep from her eyes as she got up and ready for the day. Pulling on a tee-shirt with faded blue overall shorts, she yanked on socks and a pair of teeny girls work boots before padding down stairs.

"Here, sweetheart, let me do that for you." Her mother bustled over and pulled her hair back into twin french braids, the light brown strands hanging down her back. "The chicks need to be fed, and more hays got to be pushed down from the barn rafters. Joey and Parker are out with Pa, apparently something fell into one of the fields nearby and the whole neighborhood is in a tizzy." The older woman went on, but Willow zoned out. She was still tired and was longing to crawl back into bed. "..and when you're done I am making pancakes and bacon."

The thought of food brought Willow back to the real world and she smiled. "Thanks, Mama." Heading outside she skipped into the bard quickly to grab the chicken feed, then shuffled out back to the coop. Clicking her tongue as she walked, she swung the bucket and waited until the hens started poking out from the coop. "Goodmorning ladies." She greeted with a tired smile.

Not long after, Willow turned back towards the barn and frowned. The slate up top in the back was slightly askew, and she didn't recall it being that way the night before. Curiosity, being a huge part of who she was, got the best of her and as she reentered the barn, she dropped the feed and headed towards the ladder that would take her to the loft. It wasn't unordinary for her to go up there anyway, she had to toss some bales of hay down to the lower floor anyway.

"Hello?" Willow called, pulling herself up onto the loft. It wasn't too dark up there, but light was dimmed because the door was right under her. "Is anyone here?" She felt a little silly, considering an animal could have just slipped into the barn while they were sleeping. "Guess not." Willow was almost disappointed that no one was there; what a wonderful story it would have been. Then again, she could always think about what it could have been and let her imagination run rampant while she finished her chores.

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Re: The Parlaxon: Arrival

Post by Machine Man on Tue May 29, 2018 11:35 am

After spending the better part of the morning searching, Arkhal found an area of land where the grass was not as long. There was a fence surrounding the area, and in the distance he could hear the sounds of animals awakening with the sun. He moved deeper into the property, cautiously picking his way through while his AI scanned the area. "There is a pair of structures ahead. There are signs of life inside the furthest structure, but the other appears to be vacant."

Arkhal moved carefully toward the closer building, trying to stay in cover as much as possible without sacrificing too much time. The local fauna caught sight of him a few times, but none of them appeared to be concerned by his presence, so he did not worry too much about them. He found his way toward a tall structure, appearing to be put together much less carefully than the further one. It was unlocked, so he entered and scanned the surroundings. The lower portion housed a large-ish machine with four wheels and a primitive combustion engine and some tools, while the upper half held large rectangles of dead vegetation.

Normally he would not have a need for a ladder, or any other assistance to ascend to the top portion of the barn, but the injury to his torso forced him to find a simpler way to make the climb. Given his size, it wasn't difficult to find a way up. Arkhal simply used the machine as a stepping-stool and hoisted himself up from there. Blue blood flowed slowly through the open wound as he climbed to the top, resting against the bails of hay as he opened the medical kit.

He hadn't had time to effect any repairs or healing before his AI alerted him. The inside of his helmet began to flash red. "Commander, an unidentified life form is approaching. It will arrive momentarily. Cloaking is still impossible. Recommendation: seek cover immediately to avoid detection."

Arkhal couldn't imagine that he, in his current state, could be stealthy enough to evade the senses of the local, but he could not afford to attract attention to himself at that time. He gathered up his kit and found the darkest corner he could inside the loft and hid behind the blocks of hay, hoping that the entity would pass him by without notice. His blood still lay on the floor, and without time enough to wipe it away, he had to hope that it, too, would go unnoticed. He held his breath, as the apparatus would certainly give him away if it were heard.

The being finally appeared after climbing the ladder to enter the loft space. It was small, bipedal, and appeared to be unarmed. From what he knew from his studies, it appeared to be a Human child. A quick scan showed that it lacked the muscle mass and the skeletal structure to be a threat to him, though he was still very cautious, as it could carry weapons unknown to him. He watched the child carefully, waiting to see if it would leave him be or if it would notice him. It spoke, but appeared to be searching still, leading him to suspect that the child had not yet discovered him.

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Re: The Parlaxon: Arrival

Post by Danry on Tue May 29, 2018 12:46 pm

Humming softly to herself Willow began pushing bales of hay over to the edge of the loft and letting them drop onto the lower level. After a couple had been moved, she noticed something dark sticking out against the normally dirt covered floor. It was blue, and looked wet. Cocking her head to the side, she knelt down to examine it more closely, but did not touch it.

"Hmm..." She stared at it for a moment, and decided it was probably old candy that had melted in the heat. Probably from Joey or Parker. Well, that's what she thought until she saw more of it a bit further away, and she followed it with her eyes leading to something quite large, huddled in the corner of the loft.

It took several abnormally long seconds for Willow to be able to comprehend what she was seeing. Even after she could clearly see something there, she wasn't entirely sure what she was looking at. Whatever it was had been leaking a blue substance all over the floor. It was hurt! Willows first thought was to call her mother so she could help, but as she opened her mouth she hesitated. Her mother would definitely not believe her.

"Are you alright?" The young girl approached the.. whatever it was.. cautiously. It wasn't the smartest thing she could have done considering the sheer difference in size, not to mention it could have weapons or be hostile. However, she was raised on a farm and if it was anything like an injured animal, remaining calm and keeping a steady, soothing voice was what could keep her out of immediate danger.

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Re: The Parlaxon: Arrival

Post by Machine Man on Tue May 29, 2018 2:21 pm

Her words, while meaningful to her, held no value with Arkhal, for he could not speak the language. Had his mission gone according to plan, he would have spent some time learning the language of the humans from a safe distance, but their violence upon his entry into the system forced him to skip that and many other important steps. He quickly got his feet under him and stood at full height, his spiked tendrils falling over his shoulders like deadly snakes. He thrust his right arm toward her, the panels on the sides of his hand opening to reveal his primary melee weapon.

Extending from the bulbous armor around his hand were three talons roughly a foot long each. Within a single second they began to glow orange as they vibrated quickly enough to generate heat. They could cut solid steel like a hot knife through butter, giving Arkhal some measure of confidence. If the young one was hostile, he felt like he had a fighting chance, even as injured as he was.

Seeing the fear in her eyes, however, gave him pause. He could not understand her spoken language, but her body language was universal. She backed away from him, meaning that she was not willing to engage in a fight. His AI spoke to him briefly, convincing him to put away his weapon. As he did so, he backed away from the child and put a hand to his side. He pointed to the case he had brought with him, and gestured at the protrusion of metal piercing his flesh.

From his suit came a voice, mechanical but not entirely cold. It spoke outwardly, assuming that the child would understand that it was speaking to her.

"Prenom?" The AI waited for a response, then moved on.

"Nombre? Naam? Mingcheng? Name...?"

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Re: The Parlaxon: Arrival

Post by Danry on Tue May 29, 2018 3:01 pm

Willow stood frozen for a few moments after it had lowered it's arm. She could feel her own heart pounding in her chest, regretting the decision to not call for her mother. She couldn't now, her vocal chords seemed to have been frozen, uncertainty and fear keeping her still.

Briefly her eyes moved to its side where it gestured at the wound and first aid kit it had. Did it want her to help or did it want her to leave? It was hard to tell.

"Name?"

A mechanical voice, having been speaking softly in the background, said something that she recognized. A word.

"My name?" She repeated. "Willow." What was she doing? Why was she still standing there? It had acted aggressively towards her, but she couldn't necessarily blame him [was it a him?] since he was clearly injured and something had to have done that to him.

"Do you.. want me to help you?" Willow gestured from the med kit to his side, making sure to keep her posture as relaxed and passive as she could. While not the best at cleaning or patching wounds, she wasn't going to let him bleed out all over their barn floor.

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Re: The Parlaxon: Arrival

Post by Machine Man on Fri Jun 01, 2018 1:35 pm

Arkhal paused, listening to the AI as it spoke to him personally. He muttered in his own language, then waited for his words to be spoken back. The AI was quite an intuitive program, quite powerful, even for his standards. It had its limitations, of course, but for the time they were doing anything and everything they could to survive.

"Human. English. Willow. Hello, Willow," the soft feminine voice began, trying to sound soothing and calm to alleviate her fears. "I am Ara. My purpose is to assist Arkhal with anything he needs, and to help protect him in the event of an emergency. As you can see, he has been severely injured, and requires immediate assistance." Ara had been observing human transmissions for some time. Arkhal had been in stasis during that time, so he had still to catch up.

"He will not harm you. I have informed him that you are not a threat to him. Your assistance would be greatly appreciated." A light on the side of Arkhal's helmet blinked to life, casting a tight white beam as he leaned forward, the light focusing on the wound. "The foreign body must be removed and pressure applied while the bleeding is stopped. Can you apply pressure once he removes the object?"

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Re: The Parlaxon: Arrival

Post by Danry on Fri Jun 01, 2018 9:11 pm

So he couldn't speak English, and his computerized lady voice was translating for him. That explained the hostility before when she approached, he probably didn't understand why she had been coming near to him and being injured it was expected to assume the worst. What was odd was how it had stated 'human' out loud. They were on Earth, wouldn't they know that?

"Yes, I can do that." Willow moved to the other side of the loft where some emergency first aid supplies were along with towels in case of an accident. Grabbing everything her arms could hold, she moved back towards Ara and Arkhal setting them up nearby, a large towel in her hand.

Gingerly, she approached with the towel, moving to his injured side. "I'm going to press hard, and it might hurt, so I'm sorry, but you'll have to deal with it." Willow said resolutely, her brow furrowed in concentration.

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