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Chapter 3:
Campfires & Dreams

So Mike, Greg and I collected wood and made a fire in front of the hatch area. This seemed to amaze the two dudes, who just looked on in bewilderment. I don't think they ever saw an open fire before.

We started to cook our food: Some boil-n-bag freeze dried stuff we had packed for our Table Rock expedition. We thought about sharing some with the guys, but Greg suggested that our food may be poisonous to their alien systems. Besides, they seemed to have plenty of their own. And amazingly enough, it smelled quite good: Like teriyaki chicken and onions. They offered us some, but we politely refused for the same reason.

After the lizard dudes went back inside their "car" for the night, we ended up talking until late into the wee hours. What the hell were we going to do with these guys? We can't turn them over to the Feds, they'd just stick them in some top secret zoo somewhere and tear apart the ship for weapons research.

But we couldn't very well hide them with us either. Someone was bound to find out sooner or later. So we decided the best thing to do was help them get in touch with their parents.

"What if their folks come looking for them?" Mike asked. "How do we let them know where their kids are?" Greg added, "What if the grownups are not as friendly as the kids. We could be in a world of shit if they get the idea that we lizard-napped them!"

"Lets take this one step at a time." I added. "First we have to get the little girl to a vet or something." "Sure, just walk into Abiqua Animal Clinic and say that we've got a burned space lizard for you to look at!" Greg quipped. "Good point. We need to find a medical type that we can trust."

Then I remembered Deke's brother Bob. He's an Emergency Medical Technician in McMinnville, and both he and Deke are capable of keeping a secret. Besides, with Deke's Llama research business, he's got all sorts of connections with the Animal Husbandry types at ASU.

"You know," I said, "I can't understand how those translator droids work. The talk goes in and comes out in plain English complete with slang. If a Mexican wore one, would he hear them in Spanish?"

Greg suggested "I bet it directly interfaces with the mind. It searches our brains for equivalent meanings, and fits the words with them. That's why the main space ship is "Home" and the little ship is a "car." That's how they conceptualize those ideas. "That would explain the slang too." I added. " but how can something designed for alien minds work on humans?"

"Maybe it taps into our souls!" Mike added. "Maybe the soul is the same for all intelligent beings throughout the universe, and the translator is made to plug into the common soul. Maybe we have more in common with them than we realize!" This was getting more bizarre all the time, I though as I climbed into my sleeping bag.

"And what about that computer system . . ." Greg said,". . . can you imagine the stuff stored in there. If only we could fly the ship out of here to someplace more convenient where we could go over it in detail!"

"I wonder if it CAN fly." I said, "Is it a "Life Raft" with just enough power to get it here, or is it like a "car," designed for excursions and round trips. They did refer to it as a car. Anyway, we should camouflage it before we leave in case our friends in the chopper come back."

"I forgot about them. Do you think they know about them?" Mike said as he pointed towards the hatch. "Well I'll bet they know it wasn't a meteor!" I added.

"I wonder how old they are?" Mike asked. "They said that their grandparents left their planet over a thousand years ago, and that they were born in space sometime later. Were their parents born on the ship too? They must have very long life spans!"

"But," Greg added, "Is their year the same as ours? Our concept of a year is the time it takes the Earth to go around the sun. Maybe their planet takes two, three or a half of one of our years to orbit their system's sun. Their planet's rotational period maybe different too. We should maybe ask them some of these basic questions about their solar system when we get the chance."

"Well boys, its getting late, so I think I'm going to make like a 'Lizard Car' and crash!" I said, resting my head down on my rolled up navy bomber jacket. "What if we can't get them back to their folks?" Mike asked. "Then I guess we'll have to get them green cards and adopt them!" Greg replied. We all chuckled at that one, and drifted off into slumber land.

The dreams from the night before returned. This time in crystal sharp clarity. All three of us were walking through a small city. It was our hometown, but it was not the familiar small town New Englandish streets and buildings of Abiqua. It was more like a big city; pyramid shaped buildings with shiny mirrored glass windows, and neatly manicured tree lined avenues. Yet, I knew this was home.

We were approaching a large open area beyond the buildings. The sound of rushing water and the smell of flowers was in the air. As we came closer to the clearing, we could see that the horizon was bending up, like we were at the base of some great mountain. But as we entered the opening, we saw no single peak.

Instead the horizon just kept going up and up until it finally blended into the cloudy blue of the sky over head. In the distance we could see the shore of a lake, and the water, like the rest of the slope, also seemed to "bend" up. In front of us was a small building. We entered into it and rode upon an escalator down into the depths of the ground.

We followed a long passage way into a small little room. I was engulfed in a bright flash, followed instantly by a deafening roar. I heard screams and I lost my balance as the ground beneath us shook and shifted. We were falling, but all the time remaining in the same little room.

Now all of a sudden it was night. Through a single little window we could see nothing but a bright field of stars. I remember looking closer through the window at the stars. They were all clustered towards the center of the window, and were varying shades of blue. As I watched, they began to drift apart to fill up the whole of my view, at the same time changing color from blue to a more yellowish hue.

I slowly became aware of an intense, searing pain. I screamed, and I remember hearing: "STRAP HER IN AND SHUT HER UP!!" I was feeling terrified and helpless, like being on a roller coaster that was completely out of control . . .

I woke up in a cold sweat, eye to eye with two large slit-pupil black eyes set in a snake green head. It was too late to stop my scream, and it came out as I remembered the events of the day before. © 1996 by R. D. Frederick Green Line

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