Marcus spent two days with his family, playing with the kids, eating barbeque, and enjoying the company of everyone around. He almost forgot about the ongoing invasion, occupation, or liberation however people phrased it these past few days, and everyone had their own opinion.
After putting his kids to sleep he opened a cold beer with his brother John on their parent’s porch. They spent a few minutes in silence before Marcus’s phone rang, it was his boss calling for the third time in the past hour.
“Hello,” Marcus answered.
“Why aren’t you picking up?” His boss asked.
“I am spending time with my family, I am not checking my phone, what is it?” Marcus asked.
“Military and Kraz’ox have finally set up everything and they reached out to us among others, and they want you here in New York, Central Park, tomorrow morning,” He said. “Call up your team, they are going to start teaching you their technology slowly, and you are going to help organize information, schedules, and so on for the upcoming draft.”
“What if I say no?” Marcus asked.
“I don’t think any of us have a choice,” The boss answered. “I believe the army would come for you, you don’t want to put your family through that.”
“Fine, I’ll be there in the morning,” Marcus said and hang up.
“What was that about?” His brother asked him.
“Nothing good,” Marcus answered and went inside to find his wife.
He told Ella what his boss just basically ordered him, and as he suspected she didn’t agree with it. She wanted him to stay here and be with his family. He wanted that as well, but being isolated here made him even more nervous. Being in the center of things he might have some additional information, and he may be able to help his family through whatever was happening. He explained to her that he really didn’t have a choice and they already knew where he was, so if he didn’t show up, the military would come up for him and that it would be best not to scare kids even further. She reluctantly agreed and made him promise he would take care of himself and call her every hour so she could be sure that he is fine.
When the morning rolled around Marcus kissed his kids goodbye, telling them he had a work emergency and he would be back soon. His parents and everyone else wished him luck and he found himself on the road. Now that the aliens were already on the ground the situation with looters, protestors, and hate groups didn’t calm down all that much, but the military did get some form of control now that they were sure the aliens didn’t want to murder everyone. Kraz’ox instructed them to keep order and peace as much as they could and so by the look of the roads and towns along the way, they were getting better.
Arriving in New York he was met with several rings of check-ups, showing his id was enough to go thru as he was apparently on the list of people that were supposed to arrive this morning. It wasn’t possible to get as close to the central park with the car as three days ago as the military put concrete barricades several blocks further, he would have to continue on foot.
Arriving at the park he was greeted by a soldier that would escort him to a tent where he was supposed to be briefed. On their way to the tent, it felt like millions of people buzzed past him, the park was busy with soldiers, police officers, and a few civilians here and there.
Reaching the tent he saw his boss standing outside with one of his co-workers, they waved at him and he approached them the soldier leaving his side and going back to escort new arrivals.
“Hello Marcus,” His boss said. “How was your drive?”
“It went surprisingly smooth,” He answered. “What are we doing here?”
“Don’t know, but we are getting briefed in ten minutes.” He answered but Marcus’s gaze wandered away.
He looked behind the tent and what were three same Kraz’ox ships three days ago, and now there were more than twenty ships of different sizes and looks, some as small as a car. The aliens also made what he assumed was their type of tends, but they didn’t have construction it seemed like the roofs and the sides were hovering in the air, held by the invisible hand from above.
He was snapped out of his gaze by a commotion of people approaching the tent. One of the soldiers nudged them inside the tent and they walked in. More than thirty people were already inside standing around the edges of the tent as the inside was empty espect two small tables and several chairs. Several soldiers and high-ranking officers walked in the ones inside saluting them, others, including Marcus, looked around confused.
“Hello, my name is Lieutenant William Grant,“ He said, Marcus recognized him from three days ago, he was the one that saved the whole situation. ”I was put in charge of this region by the military and Kraz’ox in order to ensure secure and painless integration of these two species.“ He said looking visibly nervous, Marcus assumed he had a fright of public speeches.
“What are we doing here?” One of the civilians asked.
“I am going to explain everything, please be patient we will leave questions for the end.” He said.
William spoke for almost twenty minutes explaining how Kraz’ox couldn’t commit large amounts of people on earth in order to teach us everything they now, so the people here would be learning firsthand from the Kraz’ox in the upcoming weeks, and then they would relay their knowledge to the rest. In every major region, similar meetings were held where top people from their respective fields including Physicists, Astronomers, Programmers, Doctors, Engineers, and others would be assigned to Kraz’ox tents where they would be thought the gists of their fields.
Kraz’ox plan was to make earth their working force, starting with simpler jobs at the beginning like creating some weapons, chips, manufacturing food, and parts for battles suits, to more complex later on like making hyperspace drivers and the warships themselves. For now, humans would not be called directly into the battle, but the military was going to start training their soldiers in special chambers, and virtual reality in order to get the gists of space combat.
In return, humanity would get many benefits from huge medical advancements, military weapons, ability to manufacture protein-rich food from almost nothing to eventually space travel.
After Lieutenant Grant was done with his speech, people barraged him with questions, he tried to answer them, but Marcus knew the Lieutenant himself didn’t know the real answers for most of them as he evaded them the best he could.
After the questions were done soldiers gave ID cards and written instructions to all the civilians. The instructions were simple, they said who to report on the human side on the progress, and to which Kraz’ox tent to report in order to start with the learning process. Marcus was assigned to tent 7, a technology and communication tent and he was supposed to report there in an hour.
Marcus was offered free accommodation in one of the local hotels with the ability to ring his family here. He called Ella and told her everything that happened so far, and together they made a decision it was best if she and the kids stay with his parents far away from the city if any of the hate groups decide to attack again.
Marcus spent his time before he needed to report to Kraz’ox, walking around the park trying to relax and clear his mind. He called Joanna to check if she was near, but she didn’t answer, so he sent her a text to call him later. He stumbled onto a tent that had coffee and gladly accepted one and after he was finished with it his clock showed that he had 5 minutes before he needed to report.
Before he could enter the Kraz’ox part of the park where their tents were set he needed to pass another ring of security. He showed his ID card that he revised earlier and the soldier pointed him to a tent with the number seven.
He walked past several Kraz’ox that didn’t seem to pay attention to him, walking this close to aliens felt surreal. Seeing them first on-screen and then from a distance three days ago was a totally different feeling, now he could see all their details that added to their physique. They were all similar in height to humans, and similar builds, but their violet-looking skin was off-putting this up close. There was also their scent, they didn’t smell particularly bad or good, but it was the unfamiliar smell that played with his mind.
Enter tent 7 he recognized several faces that he saw regularly at summits. He found his Boss Mark, and a co-worker he rarely spoke to, only knowing his last name Smith.
The tent was white, its walls that hovered from above were made from a material that Marcus has never seen before, and the surface was smooth and almost glowing. The tent had a machine in the middle that had a green glow to it and alien markings all around.
“This is thrilling,” Mark said.
“I would lie if I said it wasn’t,” Marcus answered.
Minutes later three Kraz’ox walked in, two wearing the long robes and one, he assumed for security, in full battle armor. They walked to the middle of the tent towards the machine and one of the aliens in a robe pressed a combination of keys activating the machine. The corners of the tent started glowing green pointing to the center of the ceiling and a hologram shot from the center down towards the machine. The smooth white walls of the tent also came alive with multiple screens on them.
“Welcome humans,” The other alien in the robe said. “My name is Uox and today we will go over the basics and our plan for you in the upcoming weeks.”
They stayed in the tent for over three hours, Uox spoke in a pleasant and calm tone. He didn’t focus on teaching them anything today but rather focused more on the history of their technology, how advanced they are now, what they would be learning, how they communicate, how their machines and computers work, and so on. He gave them a schedule, two shifts of five hours of lectures each day starting from tomorrow.
After the meeting, Marcus checked his phone and he had several missed calls from Joanne and a few others. He called his wife first telling her of the meeting, what he saw, and how Kraz’ox looked from up close, he spoke with the kids a little on the video call before hanging up. After that, he returned the calls to Joanne who picked up this time and they agreed to meet in his hotel for drinks.
The hotel bar was surprisingly full, most of the people he saw in the park today were there drinking, eating some food, and chatting. Two of them drank several beers and talked about the last few days. Joanna was now tasked with patrolling the streets of manhattan and keeping an eye for any hate-group gatherings, police now worked in two 12-hour shifts and it showed on her face.
Marcus enter his room sometime after 10 and was beyond tired. He called Ella one more time before going to bed and quickly fell asleep after the call.
The next two days were the same, they learned a lot about the way alien technology worked, and how they used faster than light communications, what their programming languages were, how advanced their AI was. Some things made sense right away and some were completely sci-fi worthy to Marcus, but his interest was peaked, he found himself grinning several times like when he was a young kid destroying his father’s laptop in order to make it work “faster” or finishing the first successful project. He constantly asked Uox questions, which he encouraged, and he found himself speaking with him more often than humans in the past two days.
Their second lecture of the second day was nearing the end when loud alarms started blasting through the camp and Kraz’ox started yelling in their own language. As they left the tent almost all smaller Kraz’ox ships were already in airborne and gunning toward the sky.
“What’s this about?” Marcus asked Uox.
“Anoi ship just appeared next to the moon,” He answered looking at the sky.