The silence stretched in space. It expanded into the chasm full of light and stars and gaseous leaks from dead stars, millions of light years away. He reveled in the silence, floating through space and the time stretched to immeasurable eons. The echoes of disease and disaster faded from his heart and he simply existed, along with all the other star-stuff, in the belly of the universe. It was the good sleep. The long sleep. And he woke up when a magnetic influx pierced through the spheres and struck him - and he began to fall.
Striking the atmosphere of the nearby planet, the sky erupted and gave way to a streak of light. The friction against his skin was grating and the sleep was over, he woke and tried to process the world around him but it was happening too fast, and his body was still rebooting, so he barely lifted his head to see the ground rushing at him, and he hit the crust of this new planet with a resounding BOOM and blackness came over him once more.
When he recovered consciousness, he saw that the indigenous people of the planet he currently inhabited were looking upon him. He couldn’t understand their emotions - he was looking at fascinating new creatures. Photoreceptors adjusted to the light reflections of the planet and auditory receptors shifted to the new frequency. Their language was fast and lyrical. Simultaneously melody and percussive. And very complicated. It would take a few days to become fluent but already his central system processed the patterns.
Scanning the air around him, he found that it was nitrogen and oxygen, mostly. The people he encountered were organic material. The layers on them that he thought were simply the traits of different species turned out to be some sort of covering, mostly over reproductive organs. Their skin was brown and their hair dark. He breathed in and started to shift his own molecular structure on the outside. The native people stepped away suddenly. Was it fear? Curiosity? Have they encountered alien species before? He couldn’t tell.
When he adjusted to look somewhat like them, he stood up. Two appendages for walking, two on the side. His photoreceptors were now located at the anterior of his head, and he turned it side to side to get used to the limited view. Underneath the skin that he disguised, he now hid the wires that transported information to and from his body. He couldn’t speak still but was slowly starting to understand a few words.
Alien. Computer. Sky. Avengers.
He couldn’t comprehend all the context yet - they were still talking too fast. But they put their own arms around him and lifted him up, taking him to their domicile. There was so much greenery around him, except were he fell and left a giant crater instead. Green and sky, nature. All his life scans showed that they were completely organic in nature, a far cry from the technopathy of his home world.
When his rescuers took him home they ran over to a strange and primitive machine in the corner. He watched silently as they sat down and began to touch buttons with their fingers, rapidly. He recognized that sort of circuitry, it reminded him of infant toys back home. The kind that his son would have played with. So he walked over, slowly, to observe. It seemed to be some form of communication. Maybe he could talk to their leader somehow. Most planets had been made aware of his people’s refugee status. He couldn’t imagine that this planet was exempt.
Touching his hand to the screen, he closed his eyes and saw where this circuitry took him. He almost lurched backwards when he realized that this simple machine connected to millions of other of these ‘simple machines’ all connected by this mass, horrifically beautiful mechanical life form that wasn’t any space that he could travel to but was a cancerous, growing mass of information that absorbed everything. He learned so much information at once that he was revolted, it made him sick. But he learned his exact location.
Indigenous tribe. Research center. Panama. South America. Earth.
Earth? Earth was a limited planet. Their alien threats were largely left to a group called the Avengers. They wore costumes and were heralded as heroes. They usually worked under a government in the United States called SHIELD. These men and women also seemed like they would be the most likely to help them. Aliens were seen by many Earthlings as bad and frightening things. And nowhere did he find information about his home.
>Thank you<, he said, and gave a smile, which was normally seen as reassuring. They smiled back. He thought then that this was a good thing.