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Chapter 2:
The Meeting

The interior of the crater was more horseshoe shaped than circular, and the object we were all looking at definitely was not a meteorite. It seemed to have plowed into the side of the hill and became buried, with only a small area a couple square yards in size exposed.

In the center of this was what looked like a hexagonal hatch, about five feet tall. "I knew it!" Mike exclaimed, "Dead bodies inside no doubt!!" "Maybe not yet . . ." Greg replied ". . . they may need some help."

"It must be some kind of top secret Star Wars rig, and probably not even manned." I added "Lets take a closer look." I quickly shot off several shots as we gingerly approached the hatch area. It was warm to the touch and felt almost like plastic, kind of soft, yet strong at the same time.

Near the bottom of the exposed area were several strange shapes engraved into the surface. A series of triangles, some hexagons and little black lines shaped like up-side-down sevens. I ran my fingers along the seam of the hatch, then placed my palm in the center. It almost felt as though it were vibrating, like the feel of an idling car, yet with no sound.

"This is really weird!" Greg said as he too felt the side, "I've never seen anything like this, it must be . . ." He was cutoff by a dull CLUNK sound coming from within the craft.

Now that really freaked us out, so we ran back over the crater rim, expecting a sudden burst of missile-zapping X-radiation or something. Nothing happened for a couple of minutes, so we peered back in over the rim. "WOW!" said Mike. Greg and I just stared.

The hatch area had changed. It was now a shimmering silver, like the surface of a swimming pool from under water. As we watched, little ripples appeared and expanded over this vertical pool. Something seemed to move inside.

We didn't budge an inch. Our eyes by now had opened so wide that they were on the verge of falling out of their sockets. A couple of long green three fingered hands reached through the surface onto the sides of the hatch, followed by a green snakelike head with very large black eyes. The mouth was slightly open, and many small sharp teeth gleamed out as the head scanned first right then left.

It pulled itself through the opening until it was standing on the ground with two muscular bird-like legs and a short pointed tail, and it was dressed in kind of a metallic red short-sleeved jump suit. No shoes covered the three-clawed feet.

The Little guy, who seemed to us to be about 3 or 4 feet tall, didn't seem to see us at first. It was breathing heavily, while looking back at the buried ship. Then it turned to examine the crater rim.

We quickly ducked down, and in the process released a number of loose pebbles that noisily rolled back into the pit. We heard some rustling and a loud SNAP, then silence.

When we got up the courage a few minutes later, we peeked back over the rim. The thing must have scrambled back into the ship, since now everything was as it was when we first saw it. "This critter must be more scared of us than we are of him!" Mike said. It actually looked more like a cute "ET" sort of guy than a death dealing alien. Looks, however, can be deceiving.

We hung out for several hours, and just before sunset the "vertical pool" reappeared, followed several minutes later by our little friend. He seemed to be a bit more mellow this time, and just looked at us for a while, eyeing each of us one at a time with an friendly yet inquisitive gaze.

He was still breathing hard; almost gasping, but this gradually ceased after a few minutes. It made a few bizarre sounds, like a cross between raucous parrots and an angry Siamese cat, but he himself didn't appear aggressive at all.

Mike smiled and said "Howdy!" and we all raised our hands in the "Universal Sign of peace" from all those 1950's science fiction movies.

It then knelt down onto it's stomach like a sitting chicken, and bowed down towards us with out stretched hands. There were some several ripples across the hatch membrane, and something shifted from inside of the ship. Soon a couple of little triangular shaped devices were thrown out, which looked like the same type of "soft/hard" plastic that covered the ship.

Each one was about three inches to a side and about a half inch thick. Both had a thin two foot long wire connected to it with what looked like a walkman style headphone that had been squished.

The "Alien" dude reached over and grabbed the two things, and put one of the head sets on. Then it held out the other one to us. We glanced back and forth at each other, and finally Mike said "Don't look at me, I'm not putting that thing on MY head!!" Greg just stood and stared. So I slowly walked up to the guy and grabbed the "walkman."

I had to bend the headset a bit to fit my head, and even then it only covered one ear. It was putting out a low hum, and then the dude made the sounds again. Only this time I could understand what he was saying. It was high pitched like a woman's voice, but I sensed that I was talking to a male, or the space lizard equivalent.

"Please help us!" He pleaded. "What's it saying?"; "What is it?" Greg and Mike inquired. "It wants us to help him, this thing must be some sort of universal translator like on Star Trek." I answered.

"Everything it says goes into this droid and comes out in my ear as plain English!"

"Yes, translator!" the alien replied. It turned back towards the hatch and yelled in: "It's cool, come on out!" Another space lizard climbed out through the "liquid" door and stood next to the first one. It was slightly smaller, and less muscular than the other, with a blue version of the same jump suit.

He too was breathing hard at first, until becoming "acclimated." "Who are you and where did you come from?" I asked. They looked at each other and the bigger guy answered: "We came from out there . . . space. The rig you see before you is our car from our home out there. I am Feather Butt and this is Scrawny." I repeated the answer for the benefit of my human companions, who along with me were to amazed to find anything funny about two alien space lizards named "Feather Butt" and "Scrawny."

"Ask them what planet they came from!" said Greg. So I did. "We come from our home, where we were born. Home is a very large interstellar colony ship which left our Grandparent's planet "Thrawn" 1202 years ago. We were born on the ship and have never seen Thrawn except in our computer files and video crystals."

"Video crystals? This is great!!" "What is it saying??!" Mike and Greg demanded in unison. I turned and repeated what Feather Butt just said, then turned back towards the aliens.

Feather Butt asked: "Who are you? Can you help us? We have another inside, but she is hurt. We need a doctor." "Sure! You bet! What's wrong?"

"She got shocked and burned when the car released and left home. We weren't suppose to be in the car. We were playing when Nuzzle Muzzle, that's Scrawny's sister, started pushing buttons. Next thing we knew, we were flying through space towards your planet. We strapped her in, and Scrawny and I managed to land here. But we don't know where 'here' is or how to get back home. Our parents are going to be pissed!"

It started to make some sense now. These two and the one inside were three alien kids that accidentally ended up here on Earth after playing around with something they knew very little about. I decided that we had better check out the "little girl," so we followed the two guys back through the shimmering hatch into their "car."

The sensation was just like walking into water, except that we could still breath. The air inside was so warm and humid, you could almost cut it with a knife, and after several minutes, we were all sweating like pigs.

The inside was much bigger than I had imagined, with the main hatch leading straight down the center axis of the ship. There were several more hatches similar to the ones outside along the side of the main passage, which was also hexagonal.

We went through one of the side hatches into a small room in the shape of a three-sided pyramid. It looked like some kind of small lunch room or galley with several tables and some seats. But unlike our chairs, the space lizard ones were more like narrow, padded saddles. They had front supports, like a "horn," only flat and a wide notch in back to accommodate their tails. And they seemed much to big for the guys we were talking to. They must indeed be kids.

Along the side were six fold down "beds", one of which was in the down position, occupied by the third guy. Only this one was a gal. Scrawny's sister Nuzzle Muzzle. She was by far the smaller of the three, and didn't look like she was in shape to do much of anything.

Scrawny gently stroked her unconscious head with his hand, while FB looked on with a sort of sorrow in his eyes. "Do you think that you can help her?" he asked in a soft translated voice.

It appeared that she was in shock and covered with burns over parts of her face, neck and chest area. It didn't seem as though the burns were real serious. Several small areas of third degree charring, but mainly just a first degree rash. What at first looked like scales, were plainly small feathers.

I think she was more shook up than anything, and probably passed out from the pain.

At any rate, we were going to need a stretcher to carry her out on, and we couldn't very well hike seven miles in the dark. So I told Feather Butt that we would have to wait until morning.

In the meantime, FB took us on a short tour of the ship. The control room had a central "windshield" with the pilots saddle placed behind it. Off to one side was what appeared to be the navigator's station: Another saddle in front of a hexagonal shaped computer screen.

Beneath the screen were three rows of small round keys on which were printed more of the same little shapes that we saw on the outside of the ship beneath the main hatch. All three of us were literally awestruck. I was too blown away to even think about taking any pictures.

Greg motioned to me to hand him the translator droid, and put it on. He asked Feather Butt about the computer, and he seemed to give the space lizard equivalent of a shoulder shrug. Scrawny seemed to get the idea of the question and put on FB's translator.

He seemed to be explaining to Greg how the computer worked. It was bizarre in that we could understand Greg's questions and comments, but not the shrill "squawks" of Scrawny, although Greg obviously could. Mike and I watched as the small dude rapidly pushed some keys, allowing the screen to light up with some more of the "Lizard Letters."

Greg looked at us and explained: "He's booting up the system now. He says that its' some sort of multi-multi megabyte holographic memory system, with a large sampling of the main ship's master files."

What looked like a menu readout appeared, and a long thin finger tapped another key and a picture of a planet appeared on the screen. It looked very Earth like: With oceans, land masses and clouds. But no polar ice caps.

"Thrawn" they said in screeching unison. "Their home world . . ." Greg added, ". . . except that they have never been there." Scrawny said something to Greg, and he looked over to us. "He wants to know if we want to see any more." I said that it was getting late, and we had better make camp. With that, all five of us headed back outside. © 1996 by R. D. Frederick Green Line

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