The day the people from the stars came, it started as a normal day. I rose early in the morning and began to work on my reports to the commissioner. I smile to remember how I grumbled about it. It was tedious, and pointless activity, because he knew exactly what the report would say.
Halfway through the report a young local boy, Fil, ran up shouting. With my usual precision I sat down my pen, straightened out my paperwork, before exiting the office to the outside. Fil hair was all in disarray, his gray eyes wide with panic.
“Young man, what is all the noise about?” As always I inwardly cringed at the melodious voice. I was a woman in authority. I wish I had the voice for it.
He stood stick still, and stared at me.
“Do you have something to say?” I moved toward him. Now, I was worried he wasn’t the type to go silent.
He swallowed several times. His hands lifted crimped together in a tight ball. “There is a second Ein in the sky.”
“A second Ein? You mean to tell me there is more than one star in the sky?” My head was shaking already. “Not possible.”
With a wail he lunged at me wrapping himself around my waist. I blinked. No one had ever claimed me to be a motherly type. I brushed my fingers over his head. “Fil. What has you so frightened? Do you truly see another Ein?” Not for a minute did I truly think there was another star in the sky, but the boy had clearly seen something.
His head nodded against my stomach pushing my flesh in with each forceful motion.
I carefully lifted his head, so our eyes met. “Show me.”
He jerked away, took my hand with all the usual animation I was used to. His feet moved fast enough to pull me behind forcing me to rush. Down the main road of Vercut the local farm houses had been already hard at work. I could smell the fresh cut plants, and the stink of animals. The road began to descent down the hill.
I stopped, even though the boy was still pulling my hand. The pain of it, tug on my old bones, wouldn’t move me. I saw what the boy saw. In a small part of my mind, I was filled with satisfaction it was not another Ein. The rest of my mind was terror. Never had I seen, heard, or imagined such a thing. The boy’s fear was now my own.
My free hand lifted and went flat. I felt my hand go free. I took meticulous steps down the hill, I had forgotten my cane. The whole time my heart was in my throat. As I reached the bottom, I was calm enough to examine it.
A large circular device, large, much larger than any building I had ever seen. It shimmered and seemed to be made of iron. The grass around it was scorched and burnt. I wrenched my eyes away, the longer I looked, the more I feared. Several adults from the village approached me.
“Administer Rilas, what is this? Is it a sign of the gods?” The local priest’s wife asked me.
The wife of a man who regularly pointed at my numerous sins was now asking me for comfort. “To be honest, Delina, I haven’t an idea.”
More people crowded close, questions spinning around me too fast to follow. The press of their bodies making me panic. Fil’s shout of fear caused everyone to turn away from me. I stepped back to give myself room to breath.
I saw it then. The object had changed a line of light had appeared on it, and part of the metal shell slides upward. Something stepped out. The people of the village screamed, and fled up the hill. My backbone went rigid, and I approached the metal shell instead. I was never a fighter, they were my people. I had to defend them.
This, of course, looking back now, was my first mistake.