“Chief, what is that?” Eric said.
“I told you at least dozen times already not to call me that, I ain’t no chief,” James said.
James came to ISS back in 2030 when the station expanded to be able to comfortably hold 35 people. They were now working on doubling the capacity by the year 2035. James was supposed to spend around 200 days at ISS, but prolonged his stay for the fourth time, barely convincing them to let him stay. He broke the record for the longest time spent in space some year and a half ago. Luckily for him some great advances in medicine have been happening that allowed him to stay this long and not face serious repercussions, coming back to earth eventually would be tricky as always, but he didn’t want to think about it for now he had 180 more days that he was planning to enjoy to the fullest. He found his peace and solitude in space, something he was never able to do down on earth.
“Fine fine, but look” Eric wouldn’t leave him alone.
“What?” James said as he finally turned.
“Look over there, what is that?” Eric said looking thru the station window.
James was annoyed, he hated being interrupted while working, but he gave in and came to the window. Eric was the first time here and he remembered that when he came here for the first time everything looked majestic and he couldn’t keep himself away from the window.
“There,” Eric said once again pointing out of the window.
“It’s a star, my man,” James said and turned back, but something seemed off and forced him to do a double take.
“I don’t think that’s a star.” Eric couldn’t keep his eyes away from the window.
Once James looked again and look good this time, he dropped the joystick of the mechanical hand he was working with. It was definantely not a star, but rather an object flying towards them at an insane speed. James took out his radio.
“Code green, I repeat, Code green!” He yelled and pulled Eric away from the windows towards the space where they held their daily meetings which had a larger window.
By the time everyone gathered there the room was filled with dead silence as everyone stared out of the window. The object was now easily distinguished from the stars as it clearly took a shape of a spacecraft, something you could only see in Sci-Fi movies, but still so different so alien to the naked eye.
Before anyone could mutter a word all of their radios started crackling and an unfamiliar voice resembling a human one came alive.
“Human station, we request permission to dock, we are badly damaged and need help.” The voice said and the crackling returned.
They all looked between each other for what felt like an eternity before Chloe, the next longest-tenured astronaut on the station after James, took her radio up to her lips.
“Who are you?” That was all she managed to say.
“We are the Anoi and we come in peace, I repeat we come in peace. We need help, allow us to dock.” The voice said again.
“We don’t have the authority, I don’t know if we even have protocols for this, we need to contact our superiors on earth and see what they have to say.” Chloe was the one who spoke and no one objected to it, most of them were still too stunned to speak.
“Hurry humans, we need to dock and turn off our ship or they will find us and if they do, we are all doomed.” The voice said and the silence engulfed the station once again.