First Encounters

By Amanda Pizzolatto (Rated G)

Luna Murphey glanced almost longingly out the window. It was a beautiful day, a day that called out to her and begged her not to waste it. She heaved a long, heavy sigh as she tore her eyes from the window and glanced down at the papers in her lap. She still had homework to do, and her parents had this rule that everything else had to wait until the homework was done. She groaned loudly, rubbed her eyes, and looked somewhat intently at the next question. 

“Do you mind?”

 Luna glanced up. Her older sisters, Selena and Diana, were working on their homework at the coffee table. Diana was looking directly at her, annoyed. 

“Hurry up with your homework and you can go outside,” said Selena without so much as lifting her fair head up. 

Luna pushed a stray auburn strand from her forehead. “But it’s such a beautiful day! I shouldn’t be inside wasting my time on this!” 

Diana scoffed. “Homework is important, you numskull, especially if you want to become a scientist.” 

Luna groaned and sighed. “I know, I know.” 

“So get back to it,” said Diana impatiently. 

Luna mumbled, but she got back to it. There was silence in the house while the three continued to work on their homework. But a few minutes later, Luna looked up from her homework and glanced out the window again. This time, she sat straight up and blinked. Did she just see a light out in the forest behind their house, or a reflection of the sun on something metallic? She watched intently to see if it happened again. She knew she couldn’t tell her sisters until she was absolutely sure she had seen something. She jumped, startled. There it was again!

“Selena! Diana! Something’s in the forest!” 

Selena’s head snapped up while Diana merely moaned. “Stop trying to distract yourself, Luna. Get your homework done!” 

Luna closed her books and set them down. She knelt on the seat and pressed her face to the window. “I’m being serious! Something is out there, and it’s reflecting the sun! I think.” 

Selena walked towards her and looked out the window. “What did you see?” 

“Something like a flash, I think it’s something metallic that’s reflecting the sun, but I couldn’t quite tell.” There it was again, another flash. 

Selena gasped as Luna gave out a squeak. “There it is again!” 

“Seriously Selena, don’t let her distract you too!” 

Selena walked past the table, grabbing her shoes on the way to the front door. “She’s not distracting me, she’s telling the truth! There is something flashing out there!” She opened the door, and followed closely by Luna, made her way towards the forest. Diana blinked a moment before quickly putting on her shoes and following her sisters out to the forest. She gasped when she saw the flash through the trees, and knowing the forest like the back of her hand, she knew exactly where it was coming from. There was a fairy ring in the forest that she liked to use as a getaway from her family for a little while when she considered her treehouse to be still too close to the house and wanted some real alone time. But now came the big question. Were hodekins using the place for some sort of gathering? Was someone signalling for help? The idea that someone could be in danger spurred Diana on; she didn’t like the notion that someone could be hurt and there was no one around to help. 

The sisters came to a sudden stop right before the fairy ring and ducked behind some trees. They gaped as they took in the sight. A spaceship had landed in the fairy ring! It landed perfectly too, the mushrooms looked unharmed by the weight of the ship. 

“Aliens?” whispered Luna, her tone revealing her excitement and slight concern. 

“It has to be,” whispered Diana. “I‘ve never seen a spaceship design like that before, and Mom and Dad have worked on hundreds!” This spaceship, though it did have the typical shape of a spaceship, looked more round and that it was made entirely out of metal with glowing blue lines zigzagging across the body, while the tip of it looked to be made from silver. The wind blew, and the silver plating caught the sunlight. 

Selena grinned at Luna. “Well, that explains the flashing.”
“But, why aren’t they coming out?” asked Diana. 

“Are they waiting for Mommy and Daddy?” asked Luna. 

“Maybe they have to go through some procedures before they can come out,” suggested Selena. “They might not want to bring any toxins from their planet to ours.” 

Diana nodded. “That’s a good point, and considerate.” A soft hiss startled the girls. A bit of steam came out of the ship as a door opened. A ramp lowered to the ground. The girls watched with shock and amazement as a couple of figures in odd-looking spacesuits came out of the ship. These spacesuits covered their entire bodies and were complete with helmets, but they were white with glowing green lines zigzagging across it in the same style as the blue lines on the spaceship. One of the aliens glanced around, and the girls could see that the visor was darkened like sunglasses, but that prevented them from getting any clue as to what the aliens looked like. Another walked towards the trees and pulled out some kind of scanner. The girls shrunk back a little; if the other aliens were the same height as this one, then they were all over seven feet tall! An invasion would be no problem for them.

“I want a closer look,” whispered Diana, her curiosity growing with every second they observed the aliens. Selena and Luna glanced at her in shock and something akin to horror. 

“What? Are you nuts? Mom and Dad aren’t here!” whispered Selena. She glanced at the aliens. “We should get back to the house and contact them immediately.” 

“Well I’m going to take a closer look,” said Diana firmly. 

“Wait! Diana!” hissed Selena, but Diana was already off. She zigzagged between the trees, creeping ever closer to the aliens gathering data from the surrounding foliage. So far, that seemed to be the only thing they were interested in doing. Weren’t they going to take off their helmets, or at least remove the dark shade on their vizors so she could see what they looked like? It wasn’t like they couldn’t breathe. She paused. Maybe they couldn’t breathe here, like a fish out of water. Or they weren’t sure if they could and were making absolutely sure they could. But, really, the group of aliens had only stayed near the spaceship, never venturing into the forest. She glanced at the mushrooms which surrounded her favorite fairy ring. Well, at least they didn’t harm the mushrooms. She paused at a tree, hiding herself well behind it, and watched them intently. They seriously were not going into the forest. Did they not like trees or something? Was wood a weakness, and the trees themselves were preventing them from going any further? A rather odd weakness, but it might help them stand a chance against these aliens if they invaded. Diana squinted at a passing alien. She ducked when she noticed the alien’s scanner coming closer towards her and backed up slowly. She bumped into something, and turned around. There was an alien looking right back at her! She fell backwards, as did the alien, both screaming. 

“Izvunamkeli*!!! Izvunamkeli!! Izvunamkeli!!” Diana figured the alien was speaking as it was pointing at her. The other aliens crowded around as Selena and Luna came rushing to Diana’s aid. 

“Diana! Are you alright?” asked Luna as she and Selena helped her up. 

“I’m fine,” mumbled Diana, her attention still on the alien that bumped into her. 

Another alien helped it up, and whacked it across the back of its head. The girls blinked in surprise.“Neyi, tien indienge, niengo izvunamkeli!” 

 The first alien rubbed the back of its head. “Nodwa . . . nodwa . . .

“Nen mokwa vyarlwa tokua. Niena doideza tupha!” 

“Nen znayazi, nodwa . . . 

“Neyi nodwa, niengo izvunamkeli, idienge.” 

“Dobrungle, tien dvini, tovkoa dostanele,” said a third alien, stepping between the two and the girls. “Segoku, zakalela sekwesi.” He touched something on his helmet before turning to look down at the girls. He pulled off his helmet, and their mouths dropped. He had light green skin, pointed ears, no hair, grey eyeballs, and silvery, galaxy-shaped irises. His mouth slowly curled into a smile, revealing very pale silver, almost white, teeth that had a soft glow to them. He waved to them. The girls shot him nervous grins and waved back. “We bring you no harm. We come in peace.” The girls stared at him in shock.

“W-wait, wh-what?” said Luna. 

“Y-you know our language!” blurted Diana. 

“But, how?” said Selena. 

“We have been in contact with Jordan and Laura Murphey. They have taught us all we know about your planet, including your language. And we have taught them about our planet and our language.” 

The sisters glanced at each other. “Their secret communications projects!” 

The alien blinked. “I beg your pardon?” 

The girls quickly explained that they were the daughters of Jordan and Laura and that they knew about some of their work, but not all of it. 

“Ah, that explains it! They didn’t know when we would arrive. Neither did we for that matter. They told us that when we did finally arrive to park our ship here and wait until sundown when they would be back from work. They didn’t mention that you three would be home. It is a pleasure to meet you.” He bowed. “Allow me introduce myself. I am Captain Svetilo Phakazvedi of the O. X. K. Vedrutha.” 

“O. X. K.?” asked Diana. 

“The acronym for Obeyene Xiamsan Koskorwu, or United Xiamsan Spaceship. Now, allow me to introduce you to my crew.” He turned to the other aliens, who were taking off their helmets to reveal blue, green, and purple skin colors. The only purple-skinned male was the one who had bumped into Diana, he waved at them with a sheepish grin. 

“Um, real quick, do all of you speak Hirmsan, or just you?” asked Selena. 

“We can speak it just fine, thank you,” said the alien that had been arguing with the other. 

Svetilo chuckled. “It was a required class.” He pointed to a green-skinned female. “That is Ikriali Zeluhza, my second-in-command.” Then a purple-skinned female. “And our doctor, Lunyanga Byalophe.” He pointed to a blue-skinned male who shot them a pleasing smile. “That’s my head scientist, Slunga Srezthi.” He grinned as the other blue-skinned male crossed his arms. “And that defender of your alienness is Sunyanaru Chernya, a reporter, we call him Sunny for short.” The girls blinked at Svetilo. 

“Defender of our alienness?” asked Diana. 

Svetilo chuckled. “Let me finish, and I’ll explain.” He pointed to the purple-skinned male. “That’s Dasiko Grumbar, our chef and an engineer.” He pointed to the last member of their party and the other purple-skinned female. “And his twin sister, Bozhitheka, chief engineer. We call her Boz for short. ” He turned back to the sisters with a cheery grin and laughing eyes. “Now, that whole conversation you heard in Xiamsan was between Dasiko and Sunny. Sunny was explaining to Dasiko that we’re the aliens since we have come to your world. If you came to our world, you would be the aliens.” 

The girls nodded. “That makes sense,” said Selena. She smiled at Sunny. “Thank you for explaining that to him.” 

Sunny seemed to melt under her gaze. He returned her smile. “You are very welcome.” He shot a snide glance at Dasiko. “Gift of God, indeed.”  

Dasiko gave him a pout. “Will you stop it with that? Captain! He’s doing it again!” 

Svetilo rolled his eyes. “Enough bickering! We are guests. Shall we leave a bad impression on our hosts?” The crew shook their heads unanimously.

“Good, thank you.” He turned to the sisters. “Now, we were supposed to meet your parents . . .” 

“Oh, well, our house isn’t far from here. Would you like to wait there, maybe see what a habetrot’s house is like?” suggested Selena. 

Dasiko scratched his head. “Wait, do the other races have different types of houses?” Sunny whacked his head, but didn’t say anything. Dasiko glared at him as he rubbed the sore spot, again. Svetilo shot them a withering glare before turning back to the girls with a pleasant smile. 

“I would like to see your house.” He glanced between them and his crew. “Provided we can fit.” 

“Oh, I’m sure you can, you might have to duck just a little,” said Selena. 

Svetilo bowed. “Then we would be honored to wait in your house for your parents.” 

“Great, let’s go!” said Diana as the girls started towards the house, the aliens close behind, walking slowly so as not to get ahead of the girls with their long strides. Upon reaching the house, the sisters proceeded to show the aliens everything until their parents returned and talk was turned to creating an alliance between the two worlds. And the rest is history.  

*Translation of the alien conversation: “Alien! Alien!! Alien!!” 

“No, you idiot, we’re the aliens!” 

“But . . . but . . .” 

“I can’t believe this. We came here!” 

“I know, but . . .” 

“No buts, we’re the aliens, idiot.” 

“Alright, you two, that’s enough. Now, hang on a second.” 

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