"You two are in big trouble, misters."
Dean Pelton eyed the two before him, expression grim. It'd been an hour since he'd been awoken by a phone call that he needed to come to the college immediately because of an incident. He wasn't entirely sure why he was surprised to see Troy and Abed sitting in the seats when he got there, both of them looking as though they'd been through a warzone, with dirtied and rumpled shirts and Troy sporting a sizeable scratch on his face (that was covered, of course – the Dean wasn't about to ignore it because that was a lawsuit just waiting to happen if it got infected).
"I just don't understand," he continued. Sure, Troy and Abed were certainly two of the more unique (he would never t use the term 'weird' – the students of his school had heard that enough in their lifetime ) members of the Greendale family, but he never pegged them to be involved in something like this. "Trespassing. Resisting being brought in by campus police. Assault on our beloved mascot."
"It wasn't assault," Troy protested, then slouched a little more in his chair when Pelton shot him a look. "No, really, we weren't gonna hurt him. And we didn't know it was him, either."
"Considering the costume, it was an honest mistake, especially with the accepted appearance of what we were after," Abed added, with Troy nodding in agreement.
"What you were after - ? Look," Pelton began, feeling the beginnings of a headache he likely wouldn't get rid of the entire day. They weren't making any sense at all. "Just start at the beginning, okay? Because right now, it's not looking very good for the two of you."
The two shared a look before Troy began, "Okay, so we have this class, right? Anthropology 101. And Professor Duncan gave us an assignment to 'do something' for our final."
"'Something'?" Pelton repeated, raising a brow.
"Yeah. He just needed something to grade. So we decided to do a group project. So we were just sitting in Abed's room, thinking of what we wanted to do, when it just hit us –"
"It hit the door, actually," Abed interrupted.
"-it hit the door. The newspaper, I mean," he clarified, once he noticed the Dean looking confused. "
"And our answer was right there, on the front page of The Greendale Gazette Journal Mirror – aliens."
Sensing Pelton wanted more than that, Abed added, "A UFO was spotted last week over Greendale. And even though the picture looked like a lot of the faked ones –"
"-We just had to look into it. I mean, like, maybe they ones in the UFOs are from the future or something, and we'd not only get a good grade but make history. You don't know! It would have been awesome," Troy finished, looking pleased at the mere prospect. "So we decided to go out a week after the first sighting, thinking maybe they'd come back. So we get out there, and it's real late, and I'm like –"
"Man, I have a good feeling about this," Troy said, hopping from foot to foot in an excited manner. They'd borrowed Pavel's telescope, and came packing with a blanket big enough to throw over something to grab them. It wasn't the best thing they might've been able to use, but they'd been short of time and had to improvise. "You don't think it's going to attack us, do you? Because I've heard some weird things about aliens."
Abed spread out the notebooks he brought, just to document what they were doing, and sat down on the cold, frozen grass, his flashlight on next to him. Even though the streetlamps were close enough to make it so they weren't sitting in pitch-black darkness, it was the kind of thing that was good to have just in case.
"Usually they show them kidnapping people to do experiments, only to send them back without memory," Abed replied, looking thoughtful. "There's ones that don't bother and just blow up everything with their ship's weapons, with the exception of the aliens in Signs, but I don't really count them considering their weakness-"
"I hear that," he agreed with a derisive snort.
"-but I don't think those are the kinds we're dealing with," he finished. At least, Abed hoped it wasn't. He didn't think there was anyone in real life who could take the kind of roles people like Will Smith played.
"I don’t think I'd mind getting abducted as long as they let me go and they didn't stick anything up my nose or butt or whatever," Troy decided, making a face at the thought. Aliens were weird. "Cause dude, I don't want to be tracked by my butt. That's just messed up."
"It's too bad there's not many cows in this area," Abed mused, frowning thoughtfully. "They usually go for those first."
"The ones who do that just wanna mess with people," he laughed. It did make sense though, he thought. "You ever see the farmers that say it happened? They're always freaked out. If I were an alien, I'd do that too."
Hours passed by with nothing of note but them theorizing what would happen if one did show up. As the time neared one in the morning, the cold started to really kick in. Troy took to burying his face as much as he could in his jacket. Abed had given him his gloves earlier, which barely helped, but it was something.
"I'm starting to think they're not coming," Troy sighed, sounding disappointed. It was hard to ignore the growing desire to go inside where it was more comfortable. Abed didn't seem affected by the waiting, patiently sitting where he'd been sitting for hours now, pausing every so often to note something in his journal."What are you writing?"
"Just making sure we don't suddenly lose seven minutes of time," he explained, matter-of-factly. When the response gained him a weird look, he added, "Some people think they can stop time. I'm making sure we notice if that happens."
"Man, you're so smart with this stuff," Troy replied, admiringly. He found himself starting to check his watch himself – more than was probably needed – just because suddenly he was paranoid it was going to happen.
It didn't, though. Time ticked by as slow as it always did, and the warmth of his breath getting caught in his jacket lulled him into a half-asleep stupor, his head eventually coming to rest against Abed's shoulder. He didn't know how long he'd been there, but he woke up in the same position some time later after Abed's elbow went sharply into his side.
"Ow!" he exclaimed, straightening up and groaning when his stiff back protested the movement. He looked at Abed, confused. "What was that for? You didn't need to –"
He trailed off, realizing Abed was looking up and not at him. Following his gaze, it was easy to spot why. Above their heads was a light similar to the one pictured in the newspaper, flying across the clear sky. The only sound between them at that moment was Abed's pen furiously writing in the notepad on his lap.
It wasn't flying like a plane – Troy was sure of that. Before he could say anything, however, another voice spoke first.
"Hey! You two!"
The two both froze, blinded by a light being in their faces. It was enough that Troy could only see the vague shape of a human behind it. Between what they were seeing and the timing of the arrival of this person, there was only one conclusion Troy came to.
"It's the government,' he hissed to Abed, his voice cracking in panic. "We have to get out of here."
The person was approaching faster, and Abed followed Troy in making a run for it, taking only the blanket they had brought and the notebook Abed had been writing in. Troy could vaguely hear a voice behind them telling them to stop, but he wasn't going to be stopping. He knew what happened when you just let someone take you in after seeing something big. They'd never find their bodies.
Stumbling along one of the streets in no particular direction – they couldn't go to Abed's dorm because they were probably expecting them to go there – it was only until they were sure they lost the person chasing them that they finally came to a stop, Troy doubling over to catch his breath. The light in the sky was gone, which sucked, but it could have been worse. Government conspiracy worse.
"Troy," Abed said, sounding out of breath himself (but less so, admittedly – he was still the better runner, as much as Troy hated him for that). When he didn't respond, Abed said, again, "Troy."
"What, dude?" he asked, straightening up despite his body's protests against it. Looking at Abed, whose face was blank in an uncharacteristic kind of way, he repeated, "What?"
Abed just pointed in front of them, toward an area of the street that was bathed in shadows because of what was likely a broken street lamp. From the distance they were at, Troy could vaguely see what looked like an all white….thing just staggering along. The two shared a look. The plan didn't even need to be said.
"-And so we rushed 'em, right," Troy explained, motioning to the Human Being, who was still seated in the room and looking as annoyed as someone could be under a freakish looking mask. "Thinking, you know, there was an alien right there! Only it, you know, obviously wasn't. It was dark, though!"
"We let the Human Being go when we realized our mistake," Abed added, as if that helped any. The person that had been chasing them – which actually had been a security guard for the school – had made sure of that.
"It was an honest mistake," Troy agreed, looking nervous when Pelton shot him a look.
"So what you're trying to tell me," he began, and Troy could just see the cogs in his head going. "Is that thinking the Human Being was an alien – which itself is preposterous since I was the one who created him and he is definitely all human looking – and decided to try to catch it in a blanket? Am I understanding that right?"
"We did catch him," Troy spoke up. And they had him down on the ground after a struggle too, when the security guy finally caught up to them.
Pelton eyed everyone in his room before letting out a sigh. "Well, it looks like this all was a big misunderstanding. I think everyone can agree that apologies should be made and the matter can be dropped."
The Human Being made a muffled protest, which was quickly silenced by the Dean. "-And I'll just overlook the little fact that there was obviously a little get together on this campus tonight. Am I right?"
The silence that followed was more than enough of an answer to his question.
"Sorry," Abed and Troy said simultaneously, to both the Human Being and the officer in the room. The officer, for his part, just grumbled under his breath and left the room afterwards. He was pretty sure it involved him saying he wasn't paid to deal with things like he dealt with that night.
"Wonderful!" Pelton exclaimed, brightening. Though Troy still had questions – like what exactly was the light they'd seen to begin with – he didn't ask. Maybe it was better they didn't know. "Now, I just had your emergency person called, so when he arrives, you two may leave."
It was a half hour later that a half-asleep looking Jeff came into the office, his sticking up all over the place in a way that certainly wasn't on purpose. It was obvious the Dean's little call to his house (he'd been both their emergency contacts after each other, apparently) had gotten him up out of a deep sleep. When he spotted the two of them, the irritation was clear on his face.
"Really? Me? Of everyone in the group, you put me down?" he asked, exasperated. Troy opened his mouth to reply but Jeff lifted a hand to silence him. "Don't. I don't want to know."
It was probably better that way.