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Teddy Bear Man

26 pages26 minutes


I'm then led back out to the hanger facility where a large government truck is just pulling in, escorted by a couple of dozen heavily armed soldiers and the CO. On the truck is a stubby winged little craft that might have been a space re-entry vehicle. The little craft is banged up pretty badly and it's even possible to see into the craft through a couple of rents in the outer skin.
The little craft is unloaded from the truck, via some overhead cranes in the hanger facility.
The CO then tells me that he's under orders to get an investigation of the little craft started ASAP.
I think over the matter and decide that, since I'm on an Army base, the Army brass has decided to grab the little craft for their own, before the Air Force can put in a claim. My initial guess is pretty much confirmed when the CO asks me what I'll do first.
I think for a few moments, then tell him, “I'll survey the outside of the craft first, using a Geiger counter, and recording my impressions in a voice recorder. Then, if everything seems normal, I'll try to enter the craft and survey the inside, again inventorying as I go. What happens then, depends on what I find in my initial survey."
The CO gets me a Geiger counter, a couple of recorders, a fancy cell phone and then tells me to get started. He'll have me more people to help within a few hours. He then turns on his heel and leaves.
By the time the CO leaves, the truck and the soldiers who delivered the maybe spacecraft are also just leaving and I'm alone.
I take a deep breath and decide to start my inventory of the craft and earn my pay. It's obvious that I'm expendable here and that I had better be as careful as I can. However, if I'm to survive, I have to have a job. My current assignment is looking like my only current job possibility.
I begin to survey the outside of the craft. The Geiger counter tells me that there's a bit of radiation from what must be the propulsion unit, but not so much that the unit needs to be be some sort of atomic powered device. I move carefully around the outside of the craft and record the physical description of the outside of the thing, including the damage. I pace off things like the length of the vehicle and the width. My measurements are really rough, but will give a detail investigation team some idea of the general size.
I then enter the craft via a hatch in the side. The hatch is released by a simple enough but three step latch. I squeeze inside and find that there's a pilot’s seat in a small compartment at the front of the craft. The display panel is still on and still chirping. I again use the Geiger counter and find no harmful radiation. There's a large red switch in the panel and I release the safety latch and turn the red switch off and the power goes off. The chirping stops and the panels all go dead.
Behind the pilot compartment there are four 'trays' with restraints for passengers. The tray seats are too small for an adult, at least an adult human. Behind the passenger trays is a maybe storage area.
In the storage area, there are several cabinets. They seem to contain survival supplies, including some sort of food stuffs. One of the cabinets also proves to contain a very tiny, live alien. I'm surprised and I jump back.
The alien chirps at me.
I have no idea what I should do. I finally step back and motion for the little alien to come out of the storage cabinet.
The little alien comes out. It's wearing some sort of pressure suit, but the face panel is open. It can breath our air, or at least thinks it can. I half expect the little alien to draw a genuine cosmic disrupter ray gun and chirp, “Take me to your leader!”
The little alien just stares at me. I motion for it to follow me.

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