~ The alien who crash landed on Christmas Eve (Part 2) ~
After about fifteen minutes of travel through the snow, they finally reached the cabin in the forest. Selene got out of the car first and walked up to the porch. It was a two stories tall building made out of lodge pole pine. It had three bedrooms, a bathroom at each floor and in the back was a well placed outdoor tub. It was well built and reflected upon the wealth of the doe's family. However, in Azurdale's eyes this whole place while it was rather rustic, it was a better called ancient or primitive history.
“You don't have nano-homes, do you?” he asked as he got out of the car after her.
“What's that?” she asked.
“Basically buildings made out of nanobots that stick together to form whatever type of environment you desire. They can't replicate so it's important to do maintenance on them or replenish their stocks when needed be.” he explained.
“That sounds weird.” she remarked furrowing her brow and then took out a key from her pocket with which she unlocked the door.
Taking a look back at the path they came, Azurdale furrowed his brow and wondered how long it would take before the Skreatuul managed to pick up their scent. The main reason why he decided to travel together with Selene was because there was no one else in this area who could guide him to a more secluded location and also had a vehicle at hand. The other reason was because if the Skreatuul reached the place where the two of them met, the beast could take either his scent or the doe's. In the case of the latter, it would mean her certain death, but if the two of them were together, then there was still a slim chance she could survive this night.
If possible, Azurdale would have preferred if he didn't get any of the locals involved, but the moment he landed in front of her car when the battery of his jetpack ran out, their fates had been tied together.
“Can we survive until morning?” he wondered out loud as he walked up to the cabin.
Back in the forest, the Skreatuul was sniffing the area with his four nostrils. His tentacle legs made the movement through the forest a breeze, but the gravity force was a bit annoying for his huge boneless body. The appendage on top of his head that looked like a clown's face was half burned and bleeding from the eyes. It was always the first thing his prey attacked and by having them bite onto it, he would secrete a neurotoxin through which they became incapacitated.
The reason why that thing looked like a clown's face was pure coincidence as there were no sapient species on the home world of the monster. There were many other Skreatuul which had that appendage appear as something else entirely. In general, it mimicked something that could entice its prey to attack it, which meant that this Skreatuul was one used to hunting humanoids like the elves.
Following the scent of the captain was a bit difficult for the beast as its sensory organs were damaged and it wasn't seeing well with one eye of its four eyes. Its legs, while tentacle-like, were also covered in scratches, cuts, and bruises. The Skreatuul may have looked powerful and relenting in chasing down its target, but usually, a good shot to each of his three brains could have killed it. The problem was getting a second and third shot after the first one. An enraged Skreatuul was no joke.
As for the Nezari Military, they indeed received the SOS from Azurdale. They didn't waste a single second to fly towards Earth, seeing how the planet has been recognized by the Galactic Council as a world that was worth protecting and watching over. Besides, they had some of the best comedy shows in this part of the galaxy.
The Brazdiana Battleship was heading towards Earth at maximum speed and the soldiers that were to battle against the Skreatuul were preparing their exoskeleton armors and heavy duty weapons. A full squad of twelve was going to be deployed as soon as they locked target on the beast. A planetary bombardment was out of the question in this case because of Earth's protected status, therefore the soldiers had to risk their lives to take it out.
If by chance they failed or lost the creature in the wilderness of Earth, chances were it would end up exterminating a big part of its fauna and flora in the next couple of years. If the humans didn't become its main prey, it would continue to hunt them down. At best, they would nuke it, but this attack would lead to an unbalance in the current political forces on the planet that could very well lead to a potential Third World War from which they wouldn't be able to recover. In other words, failing was akin to losing a Protected Status Planet, a big shame for the Nezari Military.
Azurdale, however, was unaware of all of these consequences. He just knew that the military would come to kill the Skretuul before it laid waste to the local population, that was it. As such, he really hoped that it wouldn't think about hunting him down. He really wasn't sure he could protect himself let alone the furry doe he came across on his way here.
Still, it was already too late to do anything about it.
He calmly helped her bring all of her stuff inside and then waited on the sofa inside the house while he double checked his weapons. The rifle was energy based, so he didn't have to worry about wasting any bullets, but he wondered just how efficient it was going to be against that thing. If he set it to rapid fire, it wouldn't do anything to it other than annoying it, so he focused what would be ten regular shots into one. Usually armor-piercing projectiles were a must against its thick hide, hence why the bow he picked up would come in handy. This thing wasn't like one of the primitive weapons on Earth. Those arrows could go through a tank's armor like it went through butter.
“Here.” Selene told him as she offered him a hot warm brown-colored drink.
“What's this thing?” Azurdale asked furrowing his brow and perking his ears up.
“Hot choco. Drink it up. It's tasty.” she told him and then took a sip.
“I'll scan it first.” he said, but nothing suspicious came up on the results.
Upon taking a small sip from the cup, he was a bit worried about how his body would react to this foreign substance, so just in case, he was ready to shoot himself with a nano-cleaner. It was basically a small tube with a tiny needle at the end and had the purpose of injecting medical nano-machines within his bloodstream. These particular ones were design to last for only a couple of hours at most and had the sole purpose of finding foreign substances that were not matched to the user's bio-data and dispose of them. Of course, this meant that these nano-cleaners could only be used by the registered user, otherwise, depending on the species, they could act more as a poison than a cure.
“It tastes... sweet.” he said as he perked his ears up and looked at the brown liquid in his cup.
“You are acting as though you never drank something like this before.” Selene giggled and then sat down on the comfy armchair facing the sofa.
To her left was an old-style fireplace where a small fire was struggling to heat up the place. She didn't forget to turn on the boiler before joining him here, but that one had the purpose of heating up all the pipes in the house, which would take a while.
If Azurdale didn't suddenly pop up like that, her initial plan would have been to bundle up in a blanket and start reading her books while the cabin was slowly becoming more and more cozy for her.
Before entering the room, Selene took off her thick winter coat. She was wearing now a Christmas-themed wool sweater with long sleeves and a puffy neck warmer, a pair of dark-blue jeans, and since the house was still warming up, she had wrapped around her shoulders a red and white shawl with a few stripes of green on it to match the season.
Selene cuddled up on the armchair and slowly sipped from her cup.
“That is indeed true... It's similar to a drink we have back on my home planet. It's called an arun, but it's green instead of dark-brown. If Earth was to become part of the galactic community, then it should have this substance as an export. It might sell quite well.” Azurdale said before he took another sip from his cup.
“So all of you aliens are so... anthro-like?” she asked.
“No.” he shook his head. “There are various kinds, and the only reason I headed to Earth in the first place was because it was the only planet within reach of Nezari that had a breathable atmosphere for my kind. It's a one in a billion chance, you know? This was only possible due to me being the only survivor of my crew.” he explained and then after taking another sip from the cup he asked her “You seem to be taking this quite well? Aren't you worried about the Skreatuul or the fact that I'm an alien as well as a man you know nothing about and whom you just invited in your house?” Azurdale asked as he placed the cup of chocolate on the table.
Selene looked down at the steaming liquid in her cup as she thought about how she wanted to reply to him. Then, after about a minute or so of arranging her thoughts, she parted her lips and looked up at him.
“You are right. As a single woman, inviting a stranger like you, especially a man, at night, in a remote area like this, would be close to madness.” she then took another sip from her cup. “I could have left you back there, but you know, you are armed.” she then looked at his rifle and bow and then his pistols and sword. “Those may not look like any weapons I saw on TV or on the net, but they are definitely weapons.” her gaze then moved to his chest “Your body is well-toned, your muscles firm.” her eyes then locked onto his “You have combat experience, don't you? A warrior, maybe a mercenary?” she then closed her eyes and took another sip from her cup.
“Yes. All that is true, which means that I could easily overpower you and do something bad to you.” Azurdale jokingly told her with a cocky smirk rising on his lips.
“You wouldn't.” she replied without opening her eyes.
“Why?” he asked.
“Deer anthros, especially does like myself, can easily tell when a predator has locked us in their sight. Our hair would stand on its end and our pupils would dilate. I would get a tingle in my tail, and I wouldn't be able to move my ears away from the direction of the threat. My whole body would become tense and in some cases, we would even start stomping the ground with our feet. However, with you...” she opened her eyes and looked at him, a small smile appeared on her lips “I don't feel in danger, I feel safe. Which for me, that means a lot.”
“Wouldn't you feel like that towards any man?” Azurdale asked raising an eyebrow at her.
“No.” she shook her head and then looked up “My antlers, they are seen by some males as a threat.” she showed him a wry smile as she looked back at him “You didn't notice did you?” she asked.
Tilting his head to the left, Azurdale asked “Notice what?”
“I have male antlers.”
“Huh?” his gaze then immediately fell on her breasts. “But...” he then looked up at her chin and lips “You... are...”
She giggled “I'm 100% female if that's what you are asking.”
“Oh... I was getting confused there...” Azurdale let out a sigh of relief.
“Would it have been bad if I was a man?” she asked curiously.
“Not at all, but I wouldn't have wanted to be rude all this time by addressing you as a woman. Unfortunately, I happened to make that mistake a number of times, and I was even mistaken for a woman of my species by others aliens as well... My features apparently are very feminine for some of them.” he showed her a wry smile.
“You look quite handsome to me.” she replied and then swiftly turned her gaze away when she realized what she just said.
“Hahaha! Thank you, and I too consider you to be quite stunning for a woman! I honestly am not one to care about antlers and the like.” he told her “The curves of the body, the lips, the gaze in the eyes, the personality, and... the air you give off is far more important.” he told her as he cast a tantalizing glance at her.
As he moved his eyes over her body, Selene could almost feel him touching her, softly, gently, with a desire to embrace her that sent tingles down her spine and against which she felt almost powerless. But while the sensation was new to her, she was not one to fall prey to a man with just a single glance, especially a stranger like him.
With burning red cheeks she looked away from him, although her ears flattened on her back, showing that she was somewhat receptive to his teasing advances.
“But mister alien, don't you think that what you are saying is a bit weird?” she asked him as she tried to regain her composure.
“What do you mean?” he asked furrowing his brow.
“You are an alien, so why would you feel attraction towards any other species that's not like yours?” she asked.
“We elves have long since surpassed that biological need and fear. There are a lot of hybrids out there, my step-sister is a quarter Denutian, from where she gained some nasty venomous fangs, better eyes, and prehensile tail.” he told her.
“Really?” she asked surprised.
“Yes.” he nodded “But what about you? Aren't I just a weird hairless anthro to you?” he asked as he brushed his hand through his golden hair, putting on a charming smile and looking at her with a glance that tempted her to take a bite out of him.
Selene blushed in response and stuffed her nose in the cup as she took slow but fast gulps, trying to stop her fast-beating heart.
“Don't worry, madame, I won't attack you, but if we do survive this night, maybe I can have the privilege to take you out on a date sometime?"” he asked as he then placed the bow and arrows on the table and pushed them towards her.
Taking his cup, he took another mouthful and then placed it back on the table.
“What are you talking about...” sensing the sudden change in his behavior, Selene furrowed her brow at him, but in that very moment, her heart start to beat fast and her ears twitch towards the direction of the windows.
By reflex, she grabbed the bow from the table and her right leg started to stomp the floor. With her pupils dilated to the max, and her breath fast, taking in the scents around her, Selene gave off all the signals that told her there was something really really dangerous around here.
“That Skreatuul I mentioned.” Azurdale said in a calm tone of voice as he got up from the sofa and turned off the safety on his rifle. “It's a monster that can be considered the most nasty predator in this sector of the galaxy. You can kill it, but it's very hard to do so even with high caliber weapons.” he pointed out. “Try to aim for the eyes or the appendage on top of his head. You can guide the arrows with your eyes as long as you hold onto the bow. I'll try to go for the brains. If we get all three of them, we live to tell the tale, if not...” he then looked at her “I will apologize for now for dragging you into this.” he showed her a wry smile.
“What are you...” she said as she took a quick glance at him.
In that moment, a terrible shriek was heard coming from outside. It was so loud that both Azurdale and Selene had to cover their sensitive ears. Then, they heard something jumping on top of the house and running across the roof. The creature made all that noise on purpose as if trying to disorientate its pray.
While Selene's ears followed it with absolute precision, Azurdale could not. He had a difficult time trying to pin point the location and was aiming the muzzle of his rifle from the door to the window even when the noise seemed to be coming from behind him.
“The monster's coming.” she said.
“Where?” Azurdale asked.
“There!” she pointed at the window and it was only now that he noticed how her ears were following the beast.
“SKIAAAR!” the beast howled and then broke through the glass.
In that same split second, Azurdale pressed the trigger of his rifle and the charged energy blast was shot at it. The hit was dead on and the beast screeched in pain. It didn't back away though, it extended its long tentacle legs towards him with the intention of smashing him into the wall. If he didn't dodge by the length of his hair, he would have been welcomed in death's cold embrace. Selene instinctively jumped out of the way as well, but she stumbled on her feet and tumbled on the floor on the other side of the room.
In that moment, the bleeding clown face attached to a tentacle entered the room accompanied by another ear-piercing screech. It seemed as though it was coming right from the mouth of that thing, but so far, its main body was hidden behind the bundle of tentacles at the window. When Selene saw it, she felt her heart clench in fear and immediately extended the cord of her bow with the intention of shooting it, but Azurdale was faster. He didn't aim at the face but rather at the tentacle it was attached to.
The close-range blast was so powerful it cut right through the fleshy appendage and a spray of red blood dirtied the room.
“KIZAAA!” the beast howled as it pulled back.
Azurdale jumped towards the fleshy remains that was still twitching and threw it outside after he monster. He then looked back at Selene and shouted “We need to go upstairs! Now!”
“T-That... That was the Skreatuul?” she asked as she ran after him.
Her hands were trembling, but she still somehow managed to find the energy and strength inside her to run after the elf and not succumb to her own fear.
“Yes. Did you think I was lying?” he asked her, but he didn't turn around to look at her frightened expression.
“Yes... That thing... something like that... It can't be real. It was horrible! How could you have brought that thing to Earth?!” she asked him.
“Cutie, I wouldn't have if there was another way, but Earth was my only chance of survival. A military force from Nezari should arrive soon. If we can survive for that long, then we'll be safe.” he told her as he walked up to the window and took a peek outside.
The Skreatuul was lurking on the ground, its tentacle legs were keeping it constantly on the move, while the eyes on top of its head were actively searching for its prey. When he spotted Azurdale, it let out another screech and jumped towards the window.
“It's coming!” he said as he moved away and prepared to shoot again.
“This thing is making a mess of my house!” Selene shouted when the windows broke to reveal a multi-row toothed mouth.
She pulled back on the string of her bow and then released the arrow. The tip let out a small blue light before it followed Selene's eyes and pierced the creature's throat.
“KRAAA!” the Skreatuul let out a pained groan and slipped back on the rooftop.
“Take this, you bastard!” Azurdale shouted as he aimed the muzzle at the beast's legs and started to shoot.
There were six energy blasts that were aimed at the creature's tentacle legs. They were already badly damaged, and you could tell that the Skreatuul was in pain when it tried to use them. The beast had managed to survive the onslaught of Azurdale's ship defences, his crew's attacks, and the crash landing on Earth. There was no way it came out in tip top shape from that, and this was clearly shown from how easy it was for the two of them to target it and shoot it.
If the Skreatuul had not suffered any form of injury, then it would have easily dodged Selene's arrow and even Azurdale's rifle shots. It would have taken a more stealthy approach towards hunting them, luring them out or even trying to take them out from the distance. This was why this beast was so feared. Not only was it a tremendously dangerous organism that could adapt to various environments, but it was also smart enough to know when not to attack and when to avoid direct fire. The current specimen, however, was far too weak and injured to go for such strategies.
It was an all out battle from now on. Either the Skreatuul would come out victorious or the two would. And while Azurdale was a trained warrior who could still retain his calm even in this situation, Selene was running on pure adrenaline and let her instincts take control.
“SKRAAA!” angered and at the end of its rope, the beast rushed inside the house, breaking frame of the window, and pushing the furniture aside with its wiggly tentacles.
Its prey was none other than the Azurdale. He was the most dangerous one in his eyes, while Selene, because of her nature as a deer anthropomorph, she was considered more as a tasty after-snack, not something it should be worried off.
“Gah!” Azurdale gasped as he was struck by one of the tentacles and flung towards the opposite side of the room.
If he didn't hold on tight to the rifle, he would have certainly dropped it.
As he got up on his feet and wheezing for air, he looked up at the Skreatuul and tried to aim his rifle at it, but another tentacle slammed into him. The wall behind him starting to crack and a bit of red blood could be seen at the corners of his lips.
“Sel-Selene... run!” he called out to her before he was slammed back into the wall, making him cough up blood.
The woman's ears were turned towards the beast, and with her heart beating so fast in her chest that it was about to burst, she found herself at a crossroads of choices. She could run away as fast as she could while the beast devoured Azurdale, or she could stay and try to fight back.
But what can I do if I stay? was what she asked herself.
The beast was clearly overpowering the elf, who managed to survive so far only thanks to the body armor and rifle he was using as a shield, but the incoming strikes were relentless. Soon, the Skreatuul would try to take a more serious bite out of him, and that would be his end.
She could already see this scene unfolding right before her eyes, she could feel it, she could sense the fresh blood as it was spilled from his open wounds, and her instincts were all screaming at her that instead of trying to prevent this from happening she should just run away from there as fast as she could.
If she ran away, she would survive. That was what her instincts were telling her, yet that little bit of reason she had left, that little bit of her heart that wasn't wrapped up in fear immediately felt pain when she imagined herself fleeing from there.
I'm not hero, I'm just a frightened doe... but... I... I don't want to see him die... she thought as she pulled back the arrow in her bow.
Her instincts screamed at her not to do it, not to make that dangerous predator look at her, but she was fighting against all of them. She was fighting with all the courage her doe heart could pump out because she knew that running away would have made her regret this decision her entire life.
Selene's legs were shaking, hand were sweating, her gaze was blurred by tears of fear, and her heart was beating so fast she didn't know anymore if she was listening to it or the beast relentlessly pounding at Azurdale. Her pull was weak, the bow was light and when she aimed right at the beast's eye, she let loose the arrow.
It flew between two of its tentacles, the third failed to stop it, and then the arrow sunk deep into the Skreatuul's eye.
A loud and terrible screech was released from its mouth as it moved away from Azurdale, trying desperately to take out that arrow.
One more... she thought as she placed another arrow in her bow and pulled the string back.
She aimed at the other eye and then, after holding her breath for a fraction of a second, she released it. The projectile flew at maximum speed, rushing through the tentacles, Selene's gaze directed it with a millimetric precision until it struck its target, the soft squishy tissue of the uninjured eye.
The screech the Skreatuul released seemed as though it was more horrible than the last one as it flung its tentacle legs everywhere in writhing pain. Azurdale managed to dodge an incoming one and rolled to the the other corner of the room. Selene also jumped out of the way when she saw two of them heading her way.
“KYA!” she screamed in fear as she tried to cover her head from the debris that was thrown around.
“Blasted thing...” Azurdale said as he aimed the rifle at the monster and started to shoot.
He was aiming only at one point, one of the three brains. If it didn't die because of major blood loss or internal injuries, than a pierced brain had to end its misery. That was what he thought, that was what he was aiming for, and with the creature blinded, it made defending a lot harder.
The sound of something squish being smashed to bits was suddenly heard and Azurdale had a smirk on his lips.
“That's one down.” he said.
The creature stopped moving for a single moment, but its legs were still flinching. It wasn't dead, just in a state of shock.
“GRAAAH!” the beast screamed all of a sudden, writhing around more dangerously than before.
One of the tentacles slammed into Slene, sending her flying back through the corridor and into the other room. She had one hell of a luck for not hitting the door frame or the furniture along the way. The attack disorientated her, and she didn't hear when Azurdale called out after her.
Taking his rifle, he aimed it at the beast and continued to fire at it, cutting down one leg, then another, but he still couldn't reach its head. Eventually, the Skreatuul rushed towards him, trying to bite him instead of grabbing him.
This made it far more vulnerable, but also far more deadly. Azurdale was forced to dodge more and shoot less.
Meanwhile, Selene was trying to get back to her senses. She felt her head heavy and her body hurting. It was a wonder she was still alive, but maybe for the first time in her entire life, she actually felt like she was alive. All of that adrenaline, the action, the fear of death, sparked something inside of her that made her realize that maybe all of this time she lived in a well-protected shell from which she couldn't see the sky that was above her or the ground that was below her.
All she ever knew was that shell, the false safety that planet Earth had gifted her with, and now... that shell had shattered.
Standing up, Selene looked at the monster that was fighting Azurdale. Two aliens of which she had never heard or seen the likes of before, yet which made her entire life up until now seem like nothing more than a speck of dust not even worth looking at.
She smiled and then picking up the bow, she pushed herself on her knees and aimed her arrow at the monster.
“On the first day of Christmas... my true love sent to me... One slimy monster, dead... ugly rotten bastard.” she said and then released the arrow.
Selene was aiming for what she thought was the heart of the beast. The projectile flew between the thrashing tentacles, avoiding them by a fraction of a millimetre and then pierced the spot on the opposite side of the body of where Azurdale shot.
The doe thought she had struck its heart, but instead pierced its second brain.
The monster, now left with only one central nervous system and under more pain than it could handle stopped for a moment, right before hitting Azurdale with all of its might. Selene's shot saved the elf, but now she became the main target of the monster. With a spring motion that nearly ruptured one of its broken tentacles, the Skreatuul jumped towards Selene, mouth open and ready to snap her in half.
Oh no... she thought and then closed her eyes and lowered her head while clenching tight on the bow.
The doe knew she couldn't run away from the monster. She had no more strength left in her legs, and there was no way to defend herself from an attack like that. All she could do now was pray it was going to be over quickly.
Selene felt the impact, the contact with the beast as it was transmitted through her horns and then her neck, but because of the angle and how tight her muscles were right now, the force ended up breaking off her antlers and thanks to the recoil, she was pushed down, avoiding to be dragged off by the monster.
The Skreatuul flew past her with her antlers stuck in the soft tissue of its mouth, then smashed through the window behind her and fell on the ground below. The impact pushed the antlers deeper into the beast's flesh and pierced the third brain as well, but at this point, whether or not this happened, it mattered very little. The Skreatuul had sustained far too much damage to even be able to stand up at this point. Even if the antlers missed the third brain, it would have remained there, motionless, taking in its last breaths of cold air before it succumbed to its death.
There was a deep silence that fell upon the mansion as no one knew what to expect next.
Azurdale was on his back, on the floor, both of his hands were now broken after receiving those last hits. He coughed up some blood and tried to get up, but he felt pain rushing from his right thigh, a splinter had managed to pierce him when the monster was blindly thrashing around.
“Ugh... Sel... Selene!” he called out to her, but this only caused him to cough up more blood.
“S-Selene!” he called out again.
In the other room, the doe felt terrible. Her ears were ringing and her head was pounding from the pain of having her antlers broken off like that. They would have eventually come off on their own in a matter of days from now. The velvet at the base already came off more than a week ago. She had to replace it with a fake material she bought from the local pharmacy. It was a bit gross and shameful to have other people stare at her bare bone antlers when other does were on a decoration spree.
Struggling to ignore the pain, she looked back to see if the monster was there, but she couldn't see it anymore.
“Selene!” Azurdale called out again.
“I-I'm here!” she replied.
“Ah, thank the gods!” he said.
“Ungh!” she groaned as she stood up.
Something warm trickled down her cheeks, and she realized that it was her blood. The stumps on her forehead were bleeding out, but it was just a little trickle, nothing dangerous. This wasn't the first time her stumps bled after shedding them either. Even so, she would still have to take a visit to the hospital after this just to make sure nothing else was broken.
Deer antlers were sturdier than bone, true, but they weren't necessary for the survival of the modern anthro.
“This hurts...” she said as she held her head.
The pain was pounding, and each step felt heavy for her. Eventually, she reached the other room and saw Azurdale laying on the floor like that.
“Selene! Your head!” he coughed and then with a groan he continued “What happened to your beautiful antlers?” he asked.
With a soft smile, she replied “In the monster's guts. Don't worry about them. It was around the time I normally shed them anyway... Sigh... Look at this... My parents cabin is trashed.” she said as she slumped down and looked around.
“Well, if it makes you feel any better, my ship is a pile of contorted metal somewhere far away from here, so there's that.” he showed her a wry smile.
“The monster is it...?” she looked back.
“It's dead. If it didn't come back by now, then that attack of yours must have killed it. Skreatuuls are weird creatures that would rather die than run away from their prey...” he replied, although technically, it was her antlers that finished off the job.
“That's good... Any other good news?” she asked.
“Yes... I just received the signal from a Nezari Battleship. They are finally here... although a bit late.” he laughed.
“Sigh... I guess Santa won't bring me any presents like this.” she said as she looked around.
“Santa? Ah... that Christmas holiday you were talking about?” he asked while looking up at the ceiling.
“Normally people bring you nice things as presents, not slimy tentacle monsters.” she tossed him a glare.
“Next time, I'll pack it up with a nice ribbon on top.” he tried to laugh but the pain in his ribs and hands made him stop and cough.
“Don't push yourself, silly. If you die now, whose going to pay me for all this broken stuff?” she giggled.
“I'll make up for this. Maybe a date? What do you say?” Azurdale asked.
Looking out the window at the reflector lights that were coming from above, she smiled and then replied “Maybe, but you're going to come in a nice suit and take me out to someplace nice to eat. Probably after I fix my antlers and you, your hands and lack of fur.” she poked her tongue out at him cutely.
“Bald bottom is my name, taking out cute women like you to a Christmas date is my one time game.” he winked at her.
“Silly.” she giggled and then leaned back on her hands as she didn't even bother anymore to think how the Nezari arrived there, how their spaceship looked like, and most of all, if they were even going to allow them to go on that supposed date in the future.
The one thing that Azurdale failed to see in this whole matter, but was spotted by Selene, was the fact that in a way, this was Earth's first contact.
However, all of that stuff could be left for another day, for now, she was too tired and was hurting far too much to even start thinking about what sort of consequences their battle on Christmas Eve posed for Earth and the entire Galactic Community.