One morning Davy invited
Niklas to come over, visit, and go swimming at the
private spot that he and some of the other boys had discovered one
Niklas gladly accepted the invitation, and by early afternoon, both
at the small pond.
It was a hot afternoon, and
Davy hadn't even bothered to remove his clothes
before jumping in and splashing around. Niklas decided to take his
time a bit
more. Clothes would take a lot longer to dry off than he would, so
to remove them.
He'd scarcely removed his
shirt and shoes, trying to avoid playful splashes
and teasings from Davy in the process, when something very odd happened.
high-pitched wail started to come seemingly out of nowhere.
"What's that sound?" asked
Davy, stopping his splashing to listen.
"I don't know," replied Niklas.
"A siren?" But even as he said it, he knew it
wasn't quite a siren. It was getting louder, too. A lot louder.
"What's going on?" asked
Davy, practically yelling. He was covering his ears.
Niklas was on his knees, also holding his hands to his ears. The wail
loud now it was painful to both boys.
Then a second thing happened.
A light started to appear, right in mid air,
about eight feet above the pond. Davy saw it and scrambled for shore,
to keep his ears covered. "What is THAT?!" he yelled, but he could
himself. He knew Niklas couldn't have possibly heard him, but both
staring at the light, which was growing larger and brighter even as
grew louder still.
Then there was a crack of
thunder, and the light seemed to explode. What felt
like a gust of wind knocked the boys backwards. The light was gone,
had stopped -- and something that neither boy could quite see, having
nearly blinded by the flash of light -- splashed into the pond.
"You okay?" asked Davy. Niklas
was picking himself up and shaking his head.
"I think so." he answered. "What was all that -- oh my gosh! Davy!
somebody out there!"
Davy was about to accuse
his friend of being completely nuts, until he looked
out into the pond, and saw a body, floating face down, dressed in what
like some sort of silver suit, in the middle of the pond. Davy didn't
for a second. He dove into the lake and started swimming out.
"Davy, be careful!" yelled
Niklas, not quite as willing to head out. "If
that's what came out of all that light and noise, it could be dangerous!"
"I think it's going to be
dead if I don't do something!" called back Davy,
not even turning around to answer Niklas. He reached the prone form
realized that it was no bigger than he was. Had somebody done something
kid? Technically, Niklas had a point. This was very strange, and he
had to be
careful. But he couldn't let somebody drown, either. He grabbed the
turned it over.
And got his second major
surprise of the day when he saw the face of this --
whoever or whatever this was. It looked more or less human, in general
And its facial features were human, although the eyes looked just a
big. But the skin was bright green, the hair was whiter than snow,
were no ears. Instead, two thick antennae protruded from the top of
near the back, curving forwards slightly. Davy carefully took a closer
He'd seen some science-fiction movies. But this didn't look like paint,
the antennae looked real. And then there was that rather extreme entrance
be taken into consideration.
This -- being was clearly
unconscious, as well. Davy looked at it carefully.
It seemed to be breathing. Davy hoped that was a normal thing for it
to do. He
called back to Niklas, "I think we just captured a for-real alien here!"
Niklas' response was to let
his eyes bulge and his jaw drop. He'd seen even
more sci-fi than Davy, and he loved looking at the stars through his
telescope. But that was a far cry from having an actual extraterrestrial
a high-dive into a pond of water not too far from your own home! Niklas
idea what to do next, so all he said was, "Is he all right?"
Davy just sort of glared
at Niklas. "How should I know? But he -- it --
whatever -- is breathing. I can't just leave him out here! I'm bringing
Niklas just nodded, wondering
what to do next. Call the police? The military?
His parents? NASA? No. Not yet. The police wouldn't know what to do.
parents probably wouldn't, either. The military would probably just
alien. Niklas was scared of what was happening, but at the same
time, it was
kind of cool, too.
Davy hauled the alien back
to shore, and Niklas helped Davy bring the alien
out of the pond. "He looks like a kid!" said Niklas. "I wonder if that's
"We don't even know that
it's a he." said Davy. "So, what do we do with it?"
"For now, take him to your
treehouse." said Niklas.
"What!?" exclaimed Davy.
"How are we going to get him up there?"
Niklas realized that Davy
was right. The alien weighed about the same as
either of them. He'd be too heavy to carry up there. "Okay, we wait
for him to
That wasn't long in coming,
as the alien moaned once and blinked his eyes.
Then he opened them. Niklas and Davy flinched. His eyes were as weird
rest of him. Instead of a colored iris and a black pupil, the circular
inside the cornea was a sort of shaded purple, as if it was all pupil,
slightly colored. He looked at Davy and Niklas with probably as much
Davy and Niklas themselves were feeling.
The alien sat up and tried
to back away, letting forth a string of gibberish
that sounded like a mixture of Morse Code and radio static.
"I think we have a communication
problem." said Davy.
"Just act calm around him."
said Niklas. "Maybe he'll calm down."
Niklas knelt down on the
ground. The alien hadn't stood up yet. "We're not
going to hurt you," said Niklas quietly and slowly. "We want to be
The alien looked at Niklas,
as if trying to understand his words. He stopped
backing away, but still looked afraid.
Then Davy knelt down and
decided to try. "Uh, welcome to our planet?"
The alien looked at Davy.
Then, half-crawling, he took a couple of steps
forward. He let out another string of gibberish, but it didn't sound
static-filled as the last one.
Niklas moved a little closer.
Then the alien shot out a hand and touched
Niklas on the forehead. For a second, Niklas felt frozen in place,
he couldn't move, and it felt like someone had just burned his forehead.
moved and pulled Niklas away. "Are you okay?" he asked as the two boys
a heap a couple of yards from the alien.
"Yeah, I think so." said Niklas."What'd
"That's better." came a new
voice. It had a slight echoing sound to it, but
sounded definitely childlike. It was the alien. "I'm sorry if I scared
But I had to touch you to pick up your language."
"This is seriously creeping
me out." said Davy quietly.
The antennae on the alien's
head rotated towards Davy. "I'm sorry I'm --
creeping you out. I don't want to scare anybody. Your name is Day-vee,
Davy's eyes went wide. "Close
"And you're Nik'k-luss."
said the alien, looking at Niklas. He seemed to
stutter slightly on the "k" pronunciation.
"So -- who are you?" asked
The alien gave forth another
burst of static.
"I don't think we can pronounce
that." said Niklas.
"I don't think I'm even going
to try." said Davy. "Explaining this is going
to be hard enough without a sprained tongue."
The alien considered this.
"We talk a lot faster than you do. And my name
would be pretty long if I slowed it down, and even then you might have
pronouncing it. You may call me by the first syllable of my name, which
"That, I think I can handle."
"Welcome to Earth, Jahv."
added Niklas. "Why have you come here?"
Jahv looked like he'd been
struck. "I -- ran away."
Davy groaned. "Not another
one. I don't think we're going to be able to get
this one home as easily as Keith and Martin."
Niklas gave Davy a glare,
but turned back to Jahv. "Why?"
"My parents." said Jahv.
"I'm just a kid, like I read in your mind that you
are. They're always so busy exploring space and stuff, even though
me along, they never pay any attention. So I decided to leave, find
planet somewhere, and just stay put and maybe try to make some friends.
that sounds kind of silly."
"Not really." said Niklas.
"You've made two friends already. But won't your
parents come looking for you?" Niklas had this sudden vision of an
coming to track down Jahv. It was cause for concern.
Jahv shook his head. "The
transmatrix device I use was set to a scrambled
frequency. I just told it to find me an acceptable planet and beam
They won't know where to look. They'll probably be glad I'm not even
anymore. They can concentrate completely on their work."
"If there's anything we can
do to help..." said Niklas.
"I am kind of hungry." said
"I've got food stashed in
the treehouse, and my parents won't be home right
now." said Davy. "I think we can get up there."
The three youngsters were
able to get inside the treehouse unnoticed. But
something occurred to Niklas as Davy was sorting through a box of food.
do we know if any of this stuff is safe for him to eat?"
"Not a problem," said Jahv.
"I have an analyzer right here in my backpack. I
"What backpack?" asked Davy.
Jahv looked over his shoulder
for the first time. "I know I had it with me
when the transmat began! It must've fallen off when I hit the water!"
"I hope it's watertight."
Jahv nodded. "But I have
a lot of survival supplies in it. I have to get it
"Back to the pond?" said
"Bring some of the food,
too." added Niklas. "We're all going to be hungry by
the time we get through looking for that pack."
The three snuck out of the
treehouse and made their way back to the pond
unnoticed. "Where did I appear?" asked Jahv.
"About eight feet right above
dead center of the lake." said Davy.
Jahv nodded, and proceeded
to remove his uniform. Davy and Niklas seemed a
little surprised. Jahv just grinned slightly. "It might interest you
that kids on my planet generally don't wear clothes anyway. Just when
travel in space, as a safety precaution. And I read in your mind that
were about to do the same thing to go swimming before I showed up."
"Somebody's going to have
to teach him a thing or two about privacy."
Niklas was grinning. "Yeah,
but right now, who cares? Let's help him find his
Moments later, three children
-- all of them boys and one of them bright
green -- were diving in the lake, trying to take the search seriously,
having only moderate success. After some playful splashing and teasing,
finally started diving and looking for the pack. Jahv found it a few
later, and the threesome headed to shore to dry off and eat.
Jahv spent the next few minutes
waving a small, round device over the food
that Davy had brought with him. He said that the candy bars would be
him to eat -- except for the one with peanuts in it. The potato chips
okay, but not the cheese-flavored ones. The jar of peanut butter actually
Jahv recoil in horror when he read the analysis of it, but the grape
the bread was okay. The cola analysis caused Jahv to make a sarcastic
along the lines of, "On my world, we'd use something like this to strip
paint," but the lemonade was perfectly acceptable. So the food supplies
divided up based on who could tolerate what, especially Jahv.
Sometime later, the three
started to discuss what to do about Jahv. They
couldn't take him home. Davy didn't think it would be safe for Jahv
to stay in
the treehouse all the time. Food, it turned out, would not be a problem.
the devices Jahv pulled from his backpack, which seemed to contain
than its size would allow, was a small machine that could duplicate
any of the
foods that Jahv had eaten today. None of them liked the idea of turning
over to any authorities.
"I guess you've never had
an offworlder here before." said Jahv. "Just as I'd
never seen people who looked quite like you until today."
"There's some theories,"
said Niklas. "People who think they've seen or even
been abducted by aliens. But the descriptions they give don't look
Jahv raised a hand. "Let
me guess. About our height, but really thin, with
grey skin, huge black eyes, large heads, and tiny slits for mouths?"
Niklas' eyes went wide. So
did Davy's. "Yes," said Niklas. "You know about
Jahv shrugged. "Even we don't
know WHO they are. But they've been pulling the
same sort of stunts on about a dozen or so worlds for decades -- including
mine. We call them -- " and Jahv finished with another burst of his
"You have a translation for
that?" asked Davy.
Jahv considered the question.
He still wasn't as familiar with this new
language as he wanted to be. But he finally came up with a response.
After the laughter died down,
Jahv finally made a suggestion. "Is there any
reason why I can't stay right here?"
Niklas and Davy looked at
each other. Finally Davy spoke. "I guess not. No
one's ever bothered us when we've come out here to swim. If this area
to anybody in particular, they've never made a big deal about it."
"But how will you go undetected?"
asked Niklas. "If somebody were to see you
out here, there might be trouble."
Jahv grinned and pulled another
item from his seemingly bottomless backpack.
It looked to be of the same fabric as his uniform, but was folded into
square. There was a button on the top of the square. Jahv pressed it
it down. "We'd better move back a bit." he said, gently shoving Niklas
Davy about ten feet back.
The square beeped, and then
unfurled into a dome-shaped tent about twelve
feet in diameter and six feet high. Niklas cringed. "Somebody's going
that for sure!"
"No, they won't." replied
Jahv, waking over to a control panel on the side of
the tent. Several lines of alien script ran across it. Jahv ran his
across one of them. The tent disappeared.
"Now, that's camouflage!"
"Is that place bigger on
the inside than on the outside, like your packpack
seems to be?" asked Niklas.
Jahv seemed to pull a flap
open in mid-air. "Have a look."
The two boys walked over
and stuck their heads in. The ceiling wasn't much
higher, maybe a couple of feet, but the overall floor space inside
was easily triple that of the outside.
Davy and Niklas pulled their
heads out. "You are going to have to explain how
that works sometime." said Niklas.
"Yeah, I could use something
like that for MY room." added Davy.
Jahv smiled. "I'd be more
than happy to. I'll be fine, staying out here. I
will only ask two things of you. If you tell any others of my presence
and I know you bring others here to swim, make sure they are willing
my existence a secret, as well."
"Of course." both Davy and
"Secondly -- please come
and visit as often as you can." said Jahv. "I'm
alone here. I can live with that. But I don't want to be lonely."
Davy and Niklas grinned.
"Certainly. We'll visit, and we'll bring friends.
Ones we can trust."
"Thank you." said Jahv. "And
now I will say farewell, for now. Thank you
again, for being my new friends."
Jahv entered the tent and
closed the flap. And any sign of the tent, or Jahv,
"Probably has to clean out
the closet in there or something." remarked Davy.
"You know, if this hadn't
happened to us, I wouldn't believe it." said
Niklas, as the two headed back to where they'd left their clothes near
pond. "Even now, with him in there, it's like it never happened. But
didn't it! We actually have a friend from another planet!"
They found the pile of clothes.
There was a silver spacesuit in the pile. "It
happened." said Davy, grinning. "And you're right. This is very cool.
think our friends will believe it?"
"They will." said Niklas.