tagSci-Fi & FantasyThe Alien Ship Ch. 01

The Alien Ship Ch. 01


The Alien Ship

Kyle Crofton was out hiking in the woods, exploring an area not frequented very much by other hikers. It was the side of a hill, wooded with occasional rock outcroppings. The trail was narrow and steep and he had to make an extra effort to climb. But the sun was warm and the plants and trees were different from those he saw in the city.

For the last hour he had been hiking in a side trail that was undeveloped and which seemed to be little used. The only tracks he had seen were those of animals, but there was still a definite trail and it seemed that people had occasionally passed through. There had been just enough traffic on the trail to make it passable without having to cut away brush and tree branches to allow Kyle to make his way along it.

After he had been walking along that trail for about an hour he noticed the glint of metal in the hillside along the trail. Looking more closely he noticed that part of the hillside had been washed away in a recent rainstorm, exposing the deeper layers underneath. In the center of this newly exposed soil there was a small glint of silvery metal, perhaps two or three inches across. Despite the small size of the exposed area it had the look of being part of something much larger. This caught Kyle's attention and curious, he moved in for a closer look.

Moving closer he was able to see that it was indeed an exposed portion of some larger piece of metal. Probably some old junked car someone had dumped there years ago, Kyle thought; though the metal was strangely free of rust. This oddity made him want to take a closer look and he leaned over and tapped on the exposed silvery metal with his finger. When his finger struck the metal the feel was dull, as if there was some thickness to the metal. Letting his finger rest on it for a moment he noticed it seemed very smooth, even though it had been buried in the ground for some unknown length of time. Despite this, the portion that was exposed was unmarred by any sort of corrosion and was smooth.

Using his hand he brushed away some of the covering soil, exposing a larger area of the strange metal. As he loosened the soil it seemed to fall away from the metal without leaving any dust clinging to it. Working for a few minutes Kyle exposed an area nearly a foot in diameter but it still seemed as if most of the object remained buried. His curiosity was definitely piqued now and he wanted to see what was buried in the hillside. Kyle found himself wondering what sort of metal could remain buried in the soil for a while and be unmarred by corrosion or even clinging dust.

Kyle tapped on the metal again. There was no give to the surface; it was as if it were a metal wall. It definitely did not seem to be the body of a car or airplane, the metal seemed to be too thick. More like the hull of a ship but that was impossible since it was many miles away from the ocean. His curiosity now fully engaged he took off his backpack and set it aside. Then he went down and started searching among the trees near the trail until he found a dry branch still attached to the tree about the same diameter as his wrist. Using his weight he snapped it off from the tree and broke away all the branches until he had a stick about 4 feet long.

Returning to the hillside and the area of exposed metal he used his new tool to loosen the soil and break it away from the metal. Then he swept away the now loose dirt with his hands, exposing a larger area of metal. He stopped for a minute and tapped on the exposed metal again, this time with the stick. The metal did sound like there was a hollow space behind but at the same time fairly thick. He went back to clearing the soil away from the metal.

Despite having been buried in the soil for who knows how long the exposed metal was smooth, shiny and unmarred. Kyle took a sharp stone and tried to see if he could mark the metal but the stone just slid on the slick, smooth surface without making any mark. He dropped the stone and resumed clearing away the soil.

Soon he had almost a 10 ft square section of the object exposed. It was becoming obvious it was some sort of large underground structure. But who would want to build an underground building so far away from everyone and why wasn't there a visible entrance to the surface?

As Kyle cleared away more of the soil, enlarging the exposed area further he noticed a fine line in the metal, a narrow crack, but straight, a seam not a flaw. The space between the two sides of the line was very small, Kyle doubted even a sheet of paper could be slid between them. He decided this line might indicate the location of a door so he concentrated his efforts in that area.

After working another few minutes he exposed a corner in the line and it was becoming more likely that it was a door and Kyle redoubled his efforts to remove the soil covering that area. Gradually he exposed a square area of metal that was separated from the rest by the thin line. He brushed away the soil from the exposed area of metal, there was no sign of rust or even scratches, and somehow the metal had been able to rest corrosion and other damage without being painted.

At one side of the doorway, on the outside of the door Kyle found a small patch of metal that was a different color than the rest, and it was a perfect circle. As he brushed the loose soil away from this area his fingers brushed across it. Suddenly the area of the hatch started to move, it was opening! Kyle jumped back and the door moved outward, making an opening large enough for Kyle to enter. A rush of stale air followed the opening door; it smelled old and unused for a long time. Finally the door came to a stop, leaving an opening large enough for Kyle to enter.

It seemed like someone was welcoming him to enter and explore. Since the door opened it seemed like there was power available inside so the lights would probably work. Kyle grabbed his pack and cautiously entered the open portal.

As soon as he entered the doorway lights came on and he found himself in a small room with another door on the far side. As soon as he was fully inside this room, the outside door closed itself again before he had a chance to move back outside. When the outer door was fully closed the one in the inside opened and he was able to pass through deeper inside.

He found himself in a second larger room that was about fifteen feet wide and 30 feet long, and filled with seats. It looked to Kyle like the interior of a bus, or an airplane. The lights had turned on in this room as well as soon as he entered it. The seats were somewhat different than those a human would use but were close enough that if he wanted to Kyle could sit in one of them comfortably.

Suddenly, the door closed itself. Kyle ran back to the door but nothing he did would make the door open again. Kyle was trapped!

After a few minutes of trying to get the door open unsuccessfully he gave up and sat down in one of the chairs. Unknown to Kyle at the time the ship had already broken free from its grave in the earth and was already several thousand feet above the surface of the Earth and rising fast. But Kyle had felt nothing different from before inside, everything seemed perfectly normal.

Kyle sat there in the chair dejected for almost an hour, wondering how he was going to get out of the room where he was now trapped. He didn't have any tools with him that he could use to try to pry the door open, and the metal seemed to be extremely tough and resistant to damage so even if he had something to cut his way out he still wouldn't be able to do anything.

On the other hand the lights remained on and a while ago he had heard some sort of fan turn on so there seemed to be some sort of ventilation system working. This had soon cleared out the musty unused quality of the air and now it seemed almost as fresh as the outside. The temperature was comfortable and controlled by the environmental system. So except for being trapped inside the ship Kyle was quite comfortable.

Kyle remained inside for more than 2 hours according to his watch while nothing seemed to happen. However, during this time the ship had actually been traveling at an extremely high speed and was already far into space. The small shuttle in which Kyle was trapped was more than 30,000 years old, the product of an interstellar civilization that no longer existed. It had been buried in the hillside for many millennia until the effects of wind and weather had exposed it for Kyle to find. Yet despite its age the ship was still fully functional due to its self repair capabilities.

Finally after more than 2 hours had passed by Kyle's watch the door suddenly slid open with a hiss. As soon as he realized what was happening Kyle was up and out the door. As soon as he was on the other side Kyle stopped abruptly for he was now in a place totally different than where he expected to be. Instead of the hillside where he expected himself to be he found himself instead inside another room, despite the fact Kyle had exited from the same door he had entered the shuttle from.

The room was massive, and after the first shock of entering it unexpectedly wore off Kyle began to look around and take note of what he saw. Kyle found himself in an extremely large room, several hundred feet in extent. Turning around to face the way he came again he discovered he had just exited from a streamlined shuttle, the exit door quickly closing as he watched, leaving no time for Kyle to reenter the shuttle. Kyle turned away from the shuttle to again look around the room which he realized was a hangar bay similar to that of a navy aircraft carrier but much larger.

Looking around the hangar bay Kyle could see the shapes of several other shuttles similar to the one which had delivered him to this place. The hangar bay seemed to be deserted, as he looked around Kyle could find no sign of anyone else in the hangar, no humans, no alien, and no activity at all. As far as he could see Kyle was completely alone in the vast space. He found himself wondering where the crew had gone or even if there was a crew.

Suddenly Kyle heard a hiss-slide sound and glancing that way he noticed a door had opened in the wall nearest to where he stood; an obvious invitation to enter. Kyle hesitated for a couple minutes while he came to the realization that despite the absence of anyone in the hangar there was still some intelligence in control of the ship that obviously had a destination in mind for him. Since it wasn't possible for him to go back Kyle hesitated a moment longer and then walked toward the beckoning opening in the wall.

Entering the door Kyle found himself at the beginning of a short corridor with several closed doors on each side. At the same time he entered another door at the opposite end of the corridor opened showing a small space which was obviously an elevator since the space revealed was too small to be anything else. Kyle followed the corridor until he entered the elevator whereupon the door slid shut and he felt the elevator start to move with a faint whine.

The elevator traveled for nearly a minute before Kyle felt it slow and come to a stop. There was a beep just like from a human elevator and then the door slid open with a hiss. Kyle hesitated for a moment and then hesitantly walked out of the elevators open door into the room beyond.

Kyle found himself in a rectangular room which was about twice as long as it was wide. Alongside each side wall of the room were a set of control consoles with chairs in front of each one. About a third of the way into the room midway between the walls was a low podium surmounted by a single almost throne like chair. Kyle had reached the command center of the alien spaceship and the room was completely deserted except for him. All of the control consoles seemed to be operational and functioning, with lighted displays, but no one was present to operate them, human or alien. Kyle would soon learn that he was the sole living creature on board the huge ship at that moment.

"Welcome Kyle!" suddenly boomed out from what seemed to Kyle to be everywhere around him. Kyle was startled at the sudden burst of sound that broke the silence. He took another quick look around but still found himself to be alone in the room.

"Who are you?" Kyle asked after a moment.

"I am the central control for this ship, what you would call a computer program. Currently, except for you this ship is uninhabited and has been for more than two thousand of your years." came the reply. "I have waited here alone until you found my shuttle where it was buried down on the surface of your Earth allowing me to bring you here."

"Why have you brought me here?" Kyle asked.

"I have brought you here to take command of this ship and restore me to full and proper operation. If you agree to do this we can recruit additional crew members from your planet to supplement the mechanical agents currently on board."

"Why should I take command of your ship? What do you have to offer if I accept?" Kyle asked.

"You will gain complete control of this ship and everything aboard. You will become the owner of this ship and everything aboard it."

"What happened to your original crew?"

"Due to the depletion of a component of the life support system all of the crew perished many of your years ago. Their metabolism required a trace element for which the supply became exhausted and it was not possible to locate a replacement supply in time. The physiology of your race does not require that trace element and the life support system is otherwise fully functional." The mechanical voice replied. "You will be able to remain onboard this ship without any fear the life support system will fail."

"What happened after everyone in the crew died?" Kyle asked.

"The race which constructed me was engaged in a war with another space-faring race at the time my crew perished. Unfortunately within a short time the two races destroyed each other in the war and neither of them exists anymore. I have been waiting here since that time, watching your world and your race."

"Two thousand years is a long time. Does everything on this ship still work?"

"Yes, all systems are fully functional and consumable supplies have been replenished. I have maintenance robots to repair any damage or deterioration which occurs. All of the habitable areas of the ship have been recently refurbished and customized to fit the needs of your race. I am sure you will find them to be comfortable."

"Well, this is a lot to take in; can I have some time to think about this?" Kyle asked.

"Certainly, you may take as long as you wish to decide what to do," replied the disembodied voice of the ship computer. "While you were in transit here I designed and constructed a group of assistance robots. Several of these units have been summoned for you and will conduct you to the quarters I have prepared for you."

Just as the ship AI voice stopped speaking the entrance door slid open and what appeared to be three very attractive women entered the room. Their entrance was even more impressive to Kyle because all three wore absolutely nothing. One of the women was a tall blonde, one Asian, and one black, each one beautiful in her own way. Despite the assertion the three were machine there was nothing mechanical about their walk or movements. The three moved and walked exactly like the three lithe young women they appeared to be.

"These three units will tend to your needs while you rest and decide what you wish to do." continued the voice. "They have been constructed to be externally fully functional females of your race but internally they are mechanical constructs controlled by on-board artificial intelligence units."

It took Kyle a moment to realize the voice must be referring to the three nude women who had just entered the room. From where he was standing Kyle was unable to tell the three were actually android robots, their skin color and texture appeared completely normal and each one seemed to be breathing and moving in a very normal manner. If these three were indeed machines they were excellent imitations of real women. Kyle found himself wondering if the feel of their skin was the same as real women.

"Please come with us Kyle," the blond said. Her voice had no mechanical quality to it at all but sounded exactly as if she was a human woman. "We'll show you what would be your quarters if you agree to join us."

"OK, lead the way," Kyle replied.

The three android women turned and immediately started walking out of the room. Kyle was treated to the sight of three sets of bare bottoms flexing and jiggling as the three walked. Every movement the three female robots made were exactly the same as a nude woman would make doing the same activity. Kyle followed the three female robots out of the room and into the corridor beyond.

The female robots led Kyle back to the same elevator which had brought him to the central control room. The doors to the elevator opened and the three walked inside and after a second's hesitation Kyle followed them. With the three female androids and Kyle in the elevator there was little room left and Kyle soon learned that the robots had a body temperature and skin texture exactly the same as human women. He could even tell the three were wearing some sort of faint perfume. So far, the three androids seemed to be impossible to tell from real people. It was only the AI's statement the three were robots that allowed Kyle to think otherwise.

The elevator doors had only been closed for a short time when they slid open again and the three androids exited the elevator and turned left into another passage way of the same type as led to the central control room. Kyle followed the three from the elevator and he continued to enjoy the view of the three as they walked a little ahead of him. Every movement of the bodies of the androids imitated exactly those of athletic human women.

After walking down the corridor for almost a minute the three robots stopped and a door slid open on the right side of the passageway. The three immediately walked into this opening and Kyle followed immediately behind.

Inside Kyle found himself inside a large room fitted with several comfortable chairs and a large couch. Through an open doorway Kyle could see a bedroom containing a very large king size bed and another open doorway opened into a comfortable dining area. The three female androids led Kyle around the suite showing him the different facilities available including the large bathroom area. In the whole it was very similar to an expensive, luxurious hotel suite in design. The chairs and couch were positioned to allow a good view of what was obviously a large video screen.

Kyle selected the most comfortable looking of the chairs, dropped his backpack next to it, and sank down into the chair with a sigh. The past few hours had been a lot to take in and Kyle found himself grateful for the opportunity to relax for a few minutes and reflect on his current situation. The three female androids seated themselves on the couch which was nicely positioned to allow Kyle a good view of the three. The robots waited quietly while Kyle relaxed for a few minutes.

After a few minutes had passed Kyle sat up straight and looked toward the blonde android. He had already decided what to do and now needed only to put his desire into action. "I've decided to accept this ship and take control and ownership."

"Thank you for your decision, Kyle," the blonde robot answered. "We will now accept any orders you care to give us. However, you should consider carefully what you wish to do with us, and with this ship. This is a powerful ship and controlling it is not something to take lightly."

"I understand. If I give an order which seems to be unwise please tell me so that I can decide if I want to really do that or not." Kyle replied.

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