Chapter 1: The Beginning
Time: Uncertain. Hit light speed on journey, seem to have travelled back in time. Very concerning. Slight damage to hull of ship, hope to find tools to repair craft. Radio not working so I have taken to recording a journal. Not used to using extremities to write. Human vessel is odd.
Adjusting to humanoid form. I have tracked the mysterious matter detected on satellite to a college. Told them I was an exchange student from planet Egypt, caused misunderstanding. They think I am from Middle East. Note: apparently ancestors named earth country after home planet. Also built rest stops the humans call ‘pyramids.’
I am getting better at writing with my hands.
I have learned that humans stored dead bodies in pyramids. Will have to find out if humans always put dead bodies in bathrooms.
Humans do not store dead bodies in bathrooms. Get very angry if you try to do it.
I have successfully infiltrated the university. I am working under Dr. Z on the meteorite. I have not seen the mysterious matter, referred to as the ‘space rock,’ but I am hoping to see where it is stored tomorrow.
Additional: I have found tools to repair space craft. I have been told the tool in question is a ‘spork.’ Very ingenious.
Update: Spork material was too flimsy for repairs. I remain on the lookout for something more durable.
I have begun my work in the lab. Much to my amusement, the ‘rock’ turns out be preserved Zorlack feces. Humans seem unaware of zorlack’s existence (though the earthen ‘bull’ creature bears a remarkable resemblance) so I expect them to be ‘studying’ the ‘rock’ for quite some time.
In light of this discovery, I have decided to study my research partner instead. Upon reviewing my Egypt University guidebook, I have found that human study is worth half my credits. Zorlack poop is worth 2. If completed, I expect these assignments to cut my schooling down to just 6 more moon cycles.
Side note: I have discovered earthen moon cycles to be much faster. I wonder if time moves more quickly here?
Time does move more quickly. I have learned that I only need to sleep once a week. This gives me more opportunity to watch my research subject, whom I will refer to as Gigatron,
Gigatron, an earth female, has a male companion whom I will call K-9 (this is funny because his earth name is a reference to a dog character. Long explanation of joke and what a ‘dog’ is will be included in the appendix. For brevity’s sake, I will say here that a dog is like a wallox but much smaller and far less poisonous.)
I am watching Gigatron and K-9 to ascertain knowledge of human mating habits. Nothing to report yet, will include observations in next entry.
Chapter 2: The Seconding
Cy continues his research and makes a new friend.
Location: Kempton Institute of Technology, Helena, Indiana
Time: 21st Century (Earth Month: September)
As you can see, I have surmised my location and the rough time period. My glee at this success is short-lived, however, as I am distressed to discover that I appear to be leaking. My human vessel is not holding and I have started to lose purple fluid from my cellular sac (down near my ‘leg’ region.) It is not yet fatal, but I will need to counteract it soon. My spacecraft is still in need of repairs, so I can not radio for aid. My Guidebook has been less than helpful.
On a more hopeful note, I have gathered information on Gigatron and her companion. They seem to be engaged in a complicated ritual whereby they verbally spar and then waft pheromones at each other. I am not yet sure whether Gigatron is fertile. I will conduct a physical exam when I am more confident that my goo-related condition is not contagious. In the meantime, I will watch Gigatron from a distance. She seems oblivious to my research. I think it best to keep it that way.
I wish to write more, but I’m afraid I’m feeling very tired and must see to my leak. My only hope is that, if this proves terminal, my research will not be in vein.
I am still leaking but I have managed to contain it with a device called a ‘maxi pad.’ The commercials show it absorbing blue goo* but it works wonders with purple. I do not think the color matters.
*(note to self: learn more about blue fluid and which part of the human body expels it.)
I followed Gigatron home. She caught me standing in the hallway outside her room. I took the opportunity to explore her living quarters. She has a bizarre array of furniture. I have included a sketch below.
I found that the square cushion is called a ‘bed.’ It is made of cotton and metal springs. My own bed back in Egypt is a gelatinous nest cradled in the branches of our brasta tree. Oh how I miss it’s glorious yolgox leaves, letting out tinkling noises as the moist breeze drifts through. And how the suns would reflect off the shimmering hargo bark.
I am homesick. Yolgox and hargo don’t exist on this planet. The closest colors I’ve seen are gold and a kind of rainbow soup I found by the toilet in the men’s room. I think it may have been undigested matter.
I have strayed from my observations. Gigatron has a wooden structure called a ‘chair.’ These are also located and used in the classrooms, but I did not realize they were portable. The same holds true for the desk, of which Gigatron’s is far bigger than those found in the lecture halls. Apparently the dorm supplies the furniture. I do not have a dorm room. I have been sleeping in the space craft, which I’ve hidden in the woods behind the fraternity. As I understand it, the members of said institution engage in frequent intoxication, so my hope is that, were my ship to be spotted, the typical drunkenness of the brothers will lead no one to believe them.
As for Gigatron, she was curious as to my reason for visiting her quarters. Unfortunately, in all my planning, I’d forgotten to come up with an excuse for my behavior, but I think I covered nicely. I told her I’d been worried and that I felt drawn there. I hope that such behavior is held with the same regard here as it is in Egypt, but seeing as she made no attempt to chase me, I am uncertain that she understands the rules of wallabong. Pity. I have been longing for a good game since my arrival.
Currently that is all I have to report on Gigatron. She is once again fighting with K-9 and I am growing deeply bored of their behavior. I wonder if perhaps I ought to turn my attentions to another human.
Despite careful attempts to conceal my spacecraft with branches and leaves found on the forest floor, my ship was spotted this morning by a burly human named ‘Burner Steve.’ When he referred to it as a “tubular abode, dude” I kindly pointed out that it was rather more oval than tube-like, to which he replied “Right on, rocketman. You want a hit off this joint, or are you already flying?”
I did, indeed, take a hit off his ‘joint’ and spent the next hour giggling uncontrollably while he helped me try to fix my ship. I think we may have caused more damage. I am afraid this has put the possibility of my safe return back even further. Fortunately, Burner Steve has offered me a place to ‘crash.’ When I pointed out that I already crashed, hence the damage to my ship, he enlightened me that I could sleep on his couch until I found a more permanent residence. I will never understand earthen slang, but I appreciate the offer of shelter.
The humans have made surprisingly little progress with the Zorlack feces. It’s been weeks and we’ve only just begun to study slides of the substance. My amusement is quickly turning to irritation.
I am fortunate in another venue, however, as I think I have solved my leaking problem. After some experimenting, I realized that my sodium levels were distressingly low. I have started ingesting salt and the purple goo has lessened. I will attempt to find other sources of nutrients. I have seen humans eating with some frequency and will try to mirror them.
I realize I had not included information on Gigatron in my last two entries. Truth be told, I have been avoiding her. She is frightfully dull and her male companion has taken to glaring at me, so I think it best to keep away until I can gather whether or not continued research will be of value.
Chapter 3: Red Dwarf Reference
Super short update
It has been a week since my last entry. My leaking has stopped. My ship is slightly improved. I have managed to get the lights to come on for a few milliseconds before the dashboard dies out again. I remain hopeful.
My cohabitation with Burner Steve seems to be going well. His quarters are in a constant state of disarray, but this is not to my dissatisfaction as it allows me to catalogue his various possessions. I have compiled a detailed list of his things below, along with sketches and what they are used for. Of particular interest to me is his deodorant. It smells of earthen ‘old spice’ and though I am told it is not for ingestion, I find it far more palatable than this planet’s ‘food.’ I shall find out where he gets his old spice and procure my own. He is growing tired of my theft of his.
My one complaint in living with Burner Steve is that I have been forced to conceal myself at frequent intervals. Since I am not a member of the fraternity, I am not permitted to stay. This, naturally, causes complications. Just last night, I was exploring the house while the members slept and was forced to hide amongst the stolen mascot costumes when a wayward brother wandered by. Fortunately, my presence within the furry creatures went unnoticed.
I wish I was so lucky with Gigatron and her mate. K-9 has grown increasingly hostile in the passing weeks, inspired, no doubt, by Gigatron’s noticeable observations of me. She has taken to watching my movements during class. Especially concerning is that she saw my journal entries, but I doubt she reads Egyptian, so I think I am safe. Just to make sure, I have largely avoided the hieroglyphs so like the ones in Earth’s country of Egypt, and have stayed with the Ra Sequence, the simplified dot-like patterns found in southern Anubis.
I have had no luck with the radio, but I have been able to open the transmitter. Am trying to send a message home now.
On planet Earth. Craft damaged. Request assistance. Coordinates enclosed.
Location: Earth. Helena, Indiana
Name: Cyrus. Trapped in 21st century. Please receive.
Distress signal. Third attempt.
Was tracking meteorite for school project. Crash landed on Earth. Am now trapped. Please help.
The transmitter has died once again, but I am hopeful that at least one of my messages will be received. If it does not reach Egypt, it should reach someone. I do worry about the time difference – Egypt is millenia ahead, after all. But I stay optimistic.
While I wait for word, I will continue my work and keep steady in my attempts to resuscitate my ship.
It is October now. I have been here for one Earth month. I have slept four times, and each time I dream of home. I wonder how long it’s been since my absence. Since I have traveled to the 21st century, I realize that it has, in reality, been negative moon cycles, and I dearly hope that affords me the chance to get back just a little after I left, otherwise I’m in danger of missing my exams. Or worse.
As my stay here has continued, I’ve realized with alarm that my actions may well see me sitting before the Intergalactic Council. In the eyes of the law, I not only stole a University spacecraft, however accidental, but I commandeered it for a solo mission without a Class 6 license. I then flew it far past the belt and into forbidden territory, whereby I damaged it and proceeded to infiltrate a government facility on an unclassified planet. And, while I took humanoid form out of necessity, I have found in the guidebook that since my action was taken without proper authorization, I have committed Interstellar Violation 3.004B – False Identity and Illegal Espionage. All for a meteorite that turned out to be fossilized feces.
As Burner Steve would say, I am in deep shit. I am determined now, more than ever, to make my research here count.
I am learning, with dread and interest, how stress impacts the human body. I fell asleep today. Not only is that the second time this week, but it was during the day. I should not be surprised that I can sleep while the sun’s out – this planet only has one, making the days dim and the nights frighteningly dark. Their one, pitiful moon doesn’t do much to light the blackness and if it weren’t for humans creating streetlights and lamps to illuminate the landscape, I’d go senseless in the dark. The only time I remember such blackness is when I hit deep space while trailing the meteorite. So out of reach of the Intergalactic Council, it was entirely unlit by satellites. Not even stars seemed to touch it.
It was then that I’d heard an odd thrumming on the scanners. It was like what humans call a ‘sonar,’ pinging out across space. At the time, I hadn’t been sure what it was, but I’d been unable to shake the thought of space bandits or hybrids. Disoriented by images of half-alien half-tech creatures attacking the ship, I’d pressed too roughly on the controls and sped out of there at light speed. I think some part of me must have done it on purpose, knowing that the raiders wouldn’t be able to keep up.
Alas, I’ve gone off track again. Stress, I suspect, is once again the culprit. I’ve become addled. When I’d woken up, Burner Steve was standing there watching me, and I’d completely forgotten who he was. For a moment, suspecting I was back on Egypt, I’d thought a warlog had broken into my room. The lack of spikes and the odd color of his skin should have given it away immediately, but I’d sat up and started hissing at him before I’d figured it out.
Fortunately, it led to me learning that I have, apparently, been sleeping wrong. I’ve seen humans do it in many different positions, but I’d missed the pattern that they were all laying down on the bed at the time. Holding your body in a stiff diagonal, with your legs balanced on the bedframe and your head on the floor is, apparently, improper. A shame, really, as it’s the closest I’ve come to feeling suspended in a gelatinous nest since I’ve got here.
I am beginning to loathe the ‘space rock.’ I feel as though it is mocking me every time I see it, and a bitter, chaotic sensation rushes through me at its image. It is stripping away my optimism and I am becoming quite peculiar, I’m afraid.
Today, in a fit of anxiety, I behaved erratically toward Gigatron. It started when she was late. I was glaring at the rock while Dr. Z fretted, saying that it “isn’t like her” and asking “where is she?” He looked my way several times, and I realized perhaps I ought to be worrying as well. It is a very tricky thing, trying to fit in with this culture. Mirroring people is often key, but I’ve learned that copying them directly tends to get you slapped and ostracized.
Between my anger at the Zorlack poop and my frustration at trying to perform the perfect reaction to Dr. Z’s anxiety, when Gigatron arrived, I was in quite a state. I went so far as the call her selfish and then, without proper procedure, I wrapped her in my arms and held her close. I lament my clumsiness.
After the disastrous start this journey has taken, I’d vowed to do everything properly from here on out, but I’d once again forgotten the paperwork. I do hope the results of my hasty examination are still admissible.
Sex – Human Female
Gender Identity – Female
Temperature – 47 trigons
Heartbeat – 72 beats per minute. It seemed to go up as seconds passed, but considering the circumstances, I think it is understandable. No one likes a surprise inspection.
Physical Health – Good, though she’s late for her menstrual cycle.
Fertility – Excellent. If K-9 proves equally fertile, they are almost guaranteed an offspring.
Additional Comments: All her glands seem to be in working order. I still have to test how she reacts to temperature changes and I will have to do a psych evaluation, but she seems an otherwise healthy specimen. I did notice a suspicious mole on her neck. I will watch it for growth or irregularity. Also, her left eye is slightly bigger than her right. This may be nothing, but I will do an eye exam when possible.
I will have to find time to examine K-9 as well.
I have yet to strike up the nerve to examine K-9. He and Gigatron are spending more time together, so whatever tension came between them has passed. I have been waiting patiently for them to copulate. While there is little progress, Gigatron has gotten her period and it is my understanding that intercourse is rare during that time, so perhaps when her next egg is ready, they will engage in sexual activity.
The weather is getting colder as October progresses. I have learned of an upcoming celebration entitled Halloween. A thorough explanation will be in the appendix. The short of it is that the humans dress up as other species before stealing candy from their neighbors, presumably so that the baffled victims are unable to report the crime to local authorities for fear of being taken away. Such acts have been outlawed on Egypt for centuries. I think I shall hide away in Burner Steve’s room while the heathens loot from each other.
Halloween is in a few days. I have been discovered at the fraternity house. Burner Steve is on probation and I have been relegated back to my space ship. As I wish not to be caught there while the humans are celebrating, I shall hide in the lab on October 31st. It is not a solution that thrills me, but perhaps this is for the best.
The brothers are having an ‘epic party’ on Halloween and Burner Steve has been hoping to seduce Joey Fenton from the rival frat. I was originally to be Steven’s guest at the party, a disguise that would have allowed me to roam freely throughout the house. I was also to be his ‘wing man’* but I was banned from both positons when I asked if Joey Fenton was the “Sloppy Joe” that made everyone sick in the school cafeteria. I do not understand why he took such offense to the question, nor my follow-up comment about Sloppy Joe being suspiciously generous with his contaminated meat. I’ve never seen Burner Steve so upset. I will have to make amends somehow.
*Note: ‘wing man’ does not refer to the species Horus, but is a human phrase for a person who helps another to mate. I was not aware such a role existed or was allowed, but I will strive to be Gigatron’s ‘wing man’ from now on.
Entry Twenty One:
I have brought Burner Steve some dandelions from the garden, as I know he enjoys weed. He laughed and said ‘it’s no big, man.’ Apparently he has had some relationship problems before and my comments brought up unpleasant memories. How, I’m not sure, but I suspect Sloppy Joe is to blame and will be on the lookout for this dangerous individual. Fortunately, Joey Fenton is not him.
Unfortunately, Burner Steve is unable to attend the party until his probation is lifted. I hope to remedy this.
Staying in my craft at night is a small relief. I enjoyed my stay with Burner Steve, but the ship reminds me of home and for several hours I can forget that I am trapped on an alien planet. I am continuing to work on the vessel and I have made progress on the engine compartment. Since it is in the internal workings, it is easier to find time to fix it.
I have made little progress on the radio. After I sent out my distress signals, the poor machine seemed to give up entirely, and now it will only flicker slightly before dying again. The computer is in shambles, and I have only made the scarcest progress on it. I will have to go through the external port to access the hardware. While the forest is dark at night, and thus keeps me hidden, the tools will be noisy, so the possibility of me making any external repairs is nearly nonexistent. Even if I time it to avoid campus security’s hourly patrol, the noise will gather someone’s interest.
My best course of action is to move my ship to a more isolated location, but I will need to get the engine running first. As it is currently, the ship is not well enough even for a short flight, so it will be some weeks before I can do this.
Author's Note: So far I’ve been finding alien justifications for Cy's romantic behavior, but there's gonna be a point where that doesn't fly and I think we're pretty much there. It’s too much work to explain the romance away and there are a lot more interesting things to write about. So I’m just gonna start ignoring a lot of stuff.
Chapter 5: Close Encounters of Some Kind
Entry Twenty Two:
Earth Month: November
Location: Klempt Institute of Technology, Helena, Indiana
Halloween has come and gone. It was not nearly as much of a trial as I’d expected. My only complication was Gigatron, who is behaving oddly to me. I am not sure why, but I think she is trying to be my friend.
The space rock is an utter bore. Gigatron has collected copious amounts of data, but I can’t make heads or tails of it. It all seems to be numbers, but their significance is lost on me. In lieu of handling feces, I have been conducting calculations and leaving the work to Gigatron. It has slowed her progress significantly, but it has allowed me the opportunity to plan my work on my ship.
Theoretically, if I use human adhesives such as ‘gum’ and ‘duct tape’ I can perform what I have heard Burner Steve call a ‘hillbilly makeover.’ I have seen him do such things with the leaky faucet in the frat house and his old pickup truck. It is a temporary solution, but it will allow me to fly my ship short distances. I should be able to get it into the mountains soon, where I can access the external port in peace and, hopefully, quicken my escape.
I have also found out that if I calibrate correctly, and if my ship is fixed in time, I can return to only a few minutes after my departure. I fear I may get expelled otherwise. That would mean, of course, that I will have to hide these journals and what I’ve learned here on Earth, but an expulsion would also nullify my research, so I suppose, all ends being equal, I would prefer to keep my discoveries to myself. I will have to fiddle with the dashboard of course. They are bound to notice the disparity between length travelled when I received the ship and length travelled upon my return of it. I have also, unfortunately, spilled juice near the console, leaving a rather generous stain in the carpet. I will have to rectify that. Perhaps a nice rug will cover it?
Entry Twenty Three:
I have noticed an odd, black van on the perimeter of the campus. I would not think it important, except it has been there for a week. It reminds me of the Intergalactic Council’s security pods that patrol the border. I passed several on my journey out of the galaxy.
Additionally, there has been a recent staff change. My friend, the custodian, who I have conversed with on several occasions, has gone missing. I worry for him, but the new man seems nice.
Entry Twenty Four:
Gigatron has taken it upon herself to conduct examinations on me too. I have learned that here they are all called ‘hugs.’ She is not very good at it, it seems, since she lingers far too long and she insists on doing it repeatedly. What she has gathered from it, I am not certain, but if it helps her with her studies, I wish her the best.
She pressed her mouth to my cheek, leaving a DNA sample for me. I have debated growing a clone of her, to save me from the original, as Gigatron is a rather bizarre person, but I decided to preserve it. Once the computer’s fixed, I will let it analyze the sample.
Burner Steve, I am happy to report, has been allowed back into the fraternity. I have been told that, after a lot of consideration, they have agreed to take me on as a pledge. I am uncertain what that means, precisely, but it will allow me some access to the house, which I’m grateful for as I have left a rather important tool back in Burner Steve’s sleeping quarters. I don’t know of its exact function, but humans call it a screwdriver and I’ve found it useful for most things.
Entry Twenty Five:
As I’ve watched Gigatron, I’ve realized I’m not alone in my actions. I’m not only joined by K-9, but by the new custodian, who seems rather fascinated by Gigatron. When I pointed out to K-9 that he seems to have a challenger for Gigatron’s affections, he got terribly angry. I will watch to see what he does about the custodian.
Entry Twenty Six:
After toiling away on the craft, I have gotten both the lights and the utilities to work again. I used the screwdriver to unclog the drainage shoot, and I have mended the drive plate using gum and tape. I will need to get to the mechanics warehouse for welding material, but most of the interior seems to be in working condition. It is not perfect, but it is progress. I shall stay hopeful.
Entry Twenty Seven:
I am distressed to report that someone has broken into my ship. It is not destroyed, but entries 4-16 are missing from my journals and my jar containing drainage from my cellular sac has been stolen. What they want to do with such a specimen, I dare not think, but I hope they return it before it congeals or mutates.
The security system has shut everything down and unless I enter the password correctly, the ship will self-destruct. I can still get in and out of the craft manually, thanks to a malfunction in the servers, but I am unable tp use anything until I remember the security code. I know I have it written down here somewhere.
The refrigerator unit housing specimens I have gathered is off. Fearing that they will be tainted if I wait, I plan to break into the lab tonight. I shall avoid the one Dr. Z has reserved for our space rock research, as I fear Gigatron will be there. I will use one of the empty labs near the back.
Entry Twenty Eight:
I have holed myself in lab 3C. It is the high-tech research facility, formerly used by the school’s many scholars that have since abandoned the institute. It is in the cordoned off area of the university, so I hope I shall be undisturbed.
Entry Twenty Nine:
I am concerned, journal. After 18 hours of research, the lab was invaded by an army of men, covered in black and carrying weaponry. I only barely got away unnoticed and am now hiding out in the park, miles away from the school. I was forced to abandon my samples, but not before making a rather jarring discovery. Gigatron, I have learned, is not only not fully human. She is my great grandmother.