Wanderers: First Contact.
rating: -4+x

Well, this may be news to you kid, but there are aliens on Earth. Lemme light up and I'll tell you what I know, might just save your skin someday.

Ah, that's better. Ok. Lemme start with what I know. They came to earth quietly, in ones or twos at first, then more, more, always more, until it just… stopped, I'll get back to that don't let your eyebrow rise off your head or you'll never find it again. See, The Authority tracked most of the craft where it could, sending teams out to landing sites, destroying or hauling away small ships and pods as hulks of alien metal burned in the atmosphere. But mostly, they never found any bodies. Sure, some of them were there, all sorts'a things dead or trapped in their ships or pods. Some in what looked like cobbled together suits, some in nothing at all, some in sleek, fancy stuff the lab boys are still trying to figure out.

Well here's where I come in. See, a few years after it started, me and some of what's now the Chi Rho team met some of these things for the first time in Authority history. The assignment was simple recon at first. We were sent to investigate a town that had dropped off the grid. The boys upstairs wanted a look, so we got sent in there. Town looked fine as we crested the hill, just, quiet like, dark. The church was lit up though, so we started there. As we got closer, it sounded like there was an argument inside, loads of people yelling at one another. It didn't sound like a fight, but it wasn't far from turning into one by some of the words I heard. One of the CR boys, David I think, waved me round the side to a spot where we could peek in through some stained glass window.

I tell you what, it's like nothing I've ever seen, a group of people were surrounding the altar, backs to it, the bigger crowd were trying to get them to move, behind them was… 3 or 4, hard to tell, but they looked like tall people, all of them bald, dressed in rough working outfits, aside from being a bit tall and skinny, more pale than the rest of the people in the room, they looked reasonably normal, then Paul pointed out something. 6 fingers. On each of them. Heh, where do ya think we got the name from?

Well, it's not like we could walk away after that, and we needed to get this sorted out with minimal civvie bloodshed. John and Tom scaled the roof to check the church tower for possible extraction routes, Paul, Bart, Matt, James, and I went round to the front door to cause a distraction and maybe cool it down. Everyone else found different entry points. I still can't believe how that Judas found his…

Ahem, yeah, sorry kid, old timers like to get nostalgic sometimes. So, with everyone in place in case things went wrong we went inside, the change was… electric. Like someone flicked off the noise. An entire town of angry people starring in your face is maybe worse than some of the stuff we deal with on the day to day… Anyway, I cleared my throat and gave the usual "We're with the government, what's going on here!?", had to flash my fake badge a few times to get them to back off. Some of the looks made me really glad Chi Rho had gone with the SWAT style outfits and not kiting out completely for this one, good call by Peter there or we'd never have pulled this off.

Took a while to calm people down after that. We got some snippets of what was going on from the calmer folks. It was obvious that the 6 fingers were still on edge, you could almost smell the fear coming off them like they were affecting people with it. The people around them were stiff and terrified looking but started to calm down as people backed off a bit and we got let through, a few murmurs of "They shouldn't be allowed to", and "We've got to deal with this while we can" caught my ears but not much more.

So, we finally got up to the altar, the scared folks up there needed some more persuading, but a couple of them let us through and came to the creatures with us. I felt a tap in my earpiece, Judas' signal. I didn't know where he was but he and his sniper rifle were somewhere able to cover us. Then shit started to unravel. The 6 fingers could talk, but it was raspy like the language was cobbled together in their heads. They told us how they were afraid, lost, fleeing from something they were too scared to talk about. The 6 fingers said they came here, still lost, disguised themselves, made themselves change, try to fit in, stay quiet, live. They were talking really fast at that point. Then shit really hit the fan. The tallest one looked angry now, pointed at a group of people in the crowd outside, they'd been dispersed through the mob at first, but now they were all together I could see them more clearly. They all wore these black masks, dark clothes, and their hair was bright, shockingly bright red, there wasn't even a blonde in the rest of the crowd let alone anyone with that kind of hair colour.

"They, them, those. They do this, hurt-chase us always, old fear, they fled too, now they follow and hunt again. Use others to fight for them, weaken others, then sink fang-mouth. They leech into flesh, drain out life.", even under the inflections, and the rasping voice I could hear anger there, it was obvious that something was going on here… and then the church erupted. "HE'S ONE OF THEM!" started the cry off to the left, a shock of red hair darted back through the crowd. "GET THEM WHILE WE CAN!" another flash of red near the back. more and more taunts and shouts, less and less red moving in the crowd as people started to rile themselves up. What happened next was… ugly. They rushed us. The aliens, the 6 fingers barged through us from the other side, angry now as well. Pushing for the red ones as long, thin arms hurled people aside, even as the mob pressure pushed at them.

Thank god for Chi Rho, a second later and… Anyway, they burst in from everywhere, rappelling down the church bell rope, smashing through windows, descending from the beams in the roof. They threw tear gas, smoke, flashbangs into the crowd and into the groups of aliens, they'd heard our conversations over the radio apparently. They fell on those aliens like a hammer, mostly nonlethal kit but if anyone made a move that looked like it was for a gun, a sniper rifle barked and someone fell apart with a hole blasted through them. The anger in the mob turned to panic, pushing back to the doors as they tried to get out. But they were blocked by the doors being barred shut. See kid, this is why you always want a strike team if you can, they plan for stuff like this. Once they were done everyone had surrendered, 1 of the 6 fingers was dead, trampled and looking, mushy, leaking bright green liquid from the mouth, another couple looked like they had broken limbs. A handful of the reds were dead too, their mouths under those masks were, horrible, lamprey, leeches, nothing looks like that, a slit in the face surrounded by teeth, and waving fronds that went limp as they died.

That was that, the reds refused to talk, had to stun them a few times for it to take effect too, tough bastards, cuffed all of them, called in cleanup, and we mem-erased all the town in the church. We made it seem like an argument over the bible or something, not my department. Don't know what the lab boys did with them or the bodies, but every now and then you hear stories like this so they must have some protocol we don't get to know.

So that's it. That's the first contact we made with these aliens was a near bloodbath. But, kid, from where I'm sitting, the worst part isn't the aliens themselves, they brought old grudges with them, turn people, towns into weapons to use on each other. Sometimes they do much, much worse when they get a chance. But the consistent story between any of them is fear, fleeing, running away from something.

Worst of all. That big 6 finger said something to me while we put him in the transport. "It's coming, soon, you run and flee too, then not so proud." Kid. let me tell you, I hope we never have to find out what these are all running from.

Anyway, smoke break's over kid. Time to get back to work, we've got a crop of live ones somewhere round here and you an' I are gonna find them.

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