(Note: It's best that you at least glance over my A to Z Plan before reading unless you want to go into this story completely cold.)
March 27, 2047
March 27, 2047
Abednego rolled out of his bunk and laced up his indoor boots. He threw a pair of earbuds in and started a rock playlist on his government-issue mp3/mp4-player. Patrick snored in the bunk above him, loud enough to cut through the King.
It was a Tuesday, so Abednego pulled his razor from his all-purpose bag as soon as he made it to the restroom. His face down to black stubble—the razor blade was seeing its last days—he brushed his teeth and yanked a stiff comb through his shoulder-length hair. Harold, the base’s linguist, greeted Abednego in Farsi as he pushed open the door to leave. “You know I was born in Jerusalem, right?” he said with a laugh, remembering the first iteration of the long-running exchange as it occurred the day he and Harold had arrived at the Drake Lunar Base.
Abednego was halfway to the planetary science room when he heard Kyra screaming. He threw down his bag and sprinted toward the airlock, where Kyra was stationed.
Kyra was hyperventilating against the wall opposite the lock. She held a pistol in one hand and a knife in the other, as if unsure which to use. Or maybe which to use first. Abednego met her from the left and stopped cold.
“Basalt-black, hairy worms with wings” was the only way he could describe the figures looming before him. They were built no thicker than a cobra, but their full length must have approached ten meters. Their mouths were perhaps a cubit long, cut out of their length like a crocodile’s snout. Where eyes should have been there were only two small patches of yellow hair that flowed as if dancing. One of them dropped his lower jaw.
“Spoke” is too strong a word. The extraterrestrial “communicated” is all Abednego could say, though how it did so was entirely outside the realm of his expertise.
“Greetings,” it communicated. “We come in peace. My name is unpronounceable in any of your Earthling tongues, but for now you may call me simply ‘Leader.’ I am glad to make your acquaintance.” Leader stretched out a wing toward Kyra.
Abednego pulled the knife from Kyra’s hand just before she fainted.
“Shalom,” he said to Leader, taking the offered wing with his free hand and shaking it. “Don’t mind her.”