In a dimly lit flight deck a single computer monitor flickers to life...
[Emergency Recovery Systems monitor]
Critical Alert: Reactor offline
Warning: Emergency Reserve Power: 8%
Critical Alert: Gravity well detected
Notice: booting flight computer
[Flight Computer monitor]
* Checking all filesystems... [ ok ]
* Configuring network interfaces... [fail]
* Setting up general console... [ ok ]
HMCS "Explorer", September 28, 2330
* INIT: Entering runlevel: 2
* Starting system log... [ ok ]
* Starting kernel log... [ ok ]
* Starting RAID monitoring Services... [ ok ]
* Starting deferred execution scheduler... [ ok ]
* Starting periodic command scheduler... [ ok ]
* Running local boot scripts ( )... [ ok ]
Error: Location unknown
Error: Active Navigation Systems offline
Error: Navigation Beacons not found (passive navigation systems activated)
Error: Manual intervention required
Notice: Waking crew.
* Waking Commodore Janette Luis(F)... [fail]
* Waking Pilot Richard Castway(M)... [fail]
* Waking Co-Pilot Sarah Scott(F)... [ ok ]
* Waking Sr. Engineer Tom Lockheart(M)... [fail]
* Waking Jr. Engineer Sam Johanson(M)... [fail]
* Waking Comm. Officer Hailey Stoneheart(F)... [ ok ]
* Waking Sr. Medical Officer Clowie Johnston(F)... [ ok ]
* Waking Jr. Medical Officer Keven Seal(M)... [ ok ]
* Waking Lt. Ashley Johnson(F)... [ ok ]
* Waking Sgt. John Smith(M)... [fail]
* Waking Pte(B). Steven Cast(M)... [ ok ]
* Waking Pte(B). Rachel Card(F)... [fail]
Running Chamber Diagn- *The screen goes blank*
The Ship's computer took a direct hit from a meteorite, the crew are unable to wake the others.
All the crew that were not able to be woken up by the computer are presumed to be deceased, their hibernation chambers were either hit by micrometeorites or failed for any number of reasons. Despite the Co-Pilot's best efforts the ship crashed into an unknown planet, they were able to deploy the emergency heat shield around the ship before they entered the atmosphere (Metal plates that slide down over the bridge and living areas), and fortunately with the auxiliary computer and the passive navigation systems remained active, so they at least had a controlled crash! The planet they crashed on has never been charted, but the inhabitants are at the technological level of early twenty-first century earth (approximately the year 2000) so they were able to get into the ship and save the (surviving) crew. They crashed near a sparsely populated town at night... The crew were the first aliens they had encountered! They did not realize they were alien and assumed that craft was a new type of jet (The HMCS "Explorer" was designed to land on a planet, so it had deployable wings and what they had mistaken to be jet engines, also they mistook the heat shields for sun shields!) so they just assumed that the crew were just like them, what we would call... Vampires! This is the story of that crew and their adventures on that "Vampire" planet!
A few minutes earlier...
"Mommy, mommy look, a shooting star!" Cries a young girl.
"That's right, now close your eyes and make a wish!" The girl's mother replies.
The young girl closes her eyes, and wishes for some friends... She has just transferred schools, so she has yet to make any friends. It is doubtful this is what she had in mind...
"Did you make a wish?"
"Yes mommy, I wished for some friends!"
"Oh, honey... You used your wish for that? Well if that is what you truly wanted, maybe it will come true!" Comforts the mother. A sonic boom is heard in the distance.
"Mommy, what was that?" Whimpered the young girl.
"That was a Sonic Boom. It's something that happens when a jet breaks the sound barrier. There's nothing to worry about."
"Ok mo-" A loud crash coming from nearby interrupts the young girl. "Mommy, was that another "Sonic Boom" thingy?"
"No honey, that sounded like a crash! Stay here, lock the door, and don't let anybody in, I'm going to go see if anybody needs help." The mother calls over he shoulder on her way out the door carrying a first aid kit.
"Ok mommy!" Replies the girl closing the door behind her mother.
Several hours later, the door is unlocked and thrown open. The young girl's mother, and a group of villagers come running in carrying some people, The town is too small for its own hospital, and the local clinics are closed. The young girl's mother is a doctor, and offered to treat the survivors at her house.
"Mommy, what's going on? Who are they?" The young girl cries.
"Your mother is very busy right now. These people are hurt, and your mother is helping them." Responds a villager.
"Oh, thank you mister." The young girl replies in a shaky voice.
"Everything's going to be OK." Assures the villager before going back to helping the crash survivors.
The survivors are injured, and they are all unconscious, the child's mother tries to treat their wounds with the first aid kits that some of the villagers thought to bring with them, and left them to rest in the livingroom.
"Mommy, are those people going to be ok?" Asks the worried young girl.
"I don't know Susie, they crashed at night, so they weren't exposed to the sunlight, but their wounds are very serious. I don't know if I was able to do enough..."
"D-Do you think that my wish for friends brought their plane down?" Susie blurts.
"No, no, of course not honey, it was just a coincidence, your wish was just to make friends at school, not bring down a plane, right? So you really don't need to worry!" Susie's mother replies.
"Ok..." Susie replies in a worried tone.
Mistaking the worried tone for Susie being tired Susie's mother sends her to bed. Susie "Goes to bed", but the moment she's sure her mom is asleep, she sneaks down stairs to see her "mommy's patients"... She pulls up a chair, and watches them sleep, not convinced that it was just a coincidence, ready to help them if they wake up... she falls asleep within minutes.
15 minutes later
"Procedure complete... Officer is now fit for duty. Terminating Medical Coma." States a computerized voice.
"Huh? Where am I?" A slightly groggy woman asks to nobody in particular. "It's pitch black in here... Explorer, lights please." Subvocalizes the woman.
"Sorry Officer Stoneheart, you are no longer aboard the HMCS "Explorer". Unable to provide adequate lighting. Might I suggest turning on your night vision enhancements?" A distant, but distinct male voice replies (HMCS Explorer's AI is running on the auxiliary computer).
"I hate using night vision enhancements..." Mutters Hailey, mentally switching on the surgically implanted "Night vision" filter and looks around (her back is to Susie, so she doesn't notice her) "Explorer, where exactly are we?" Hailey subvocalizes.
"Based on this planet's magnetic North, you are approximately 1 KM [50°N, 32°E] of the crash site. Security logs indicate that indigenous humanoids relocated you and the rest of the survivors to the nearby village. Scans indicate that this planet's technological level is equal to that of early twenty-first century earth." Replies the ship's AI.
"How bad is it?" Hailey subvocalizes.
"I am no longer on reserve power, the sunlight this planet receives during the day was sufficient to restart the reactors. The main computer is offline, there is extensive structural damage, long range communications and scanners are offline, a power surge caused the FTL drive to redline until the drive went critical, we are approximately 6000 lightyears off course. The emergency shielding was able to absorb the blast, no further damage was sustained. The technology present on this planet is insufficient to rebuild the FTL drive. Both engineers are deceased. Likelihood of rescue: 6.34%."
"So in short, we're hosed... Dammit!" Mutters Hailey slamming her fist on floor (The "Bed" is at floor level), waking Susie.
"Huh?" A brief pause then Susie snaps completely awake. "You're awake!"
Hailey spins around, ready to defend herself, then relaxes when she sees Susie. "Who are you?"
"I'm Susie Mitchel. My mommy found you and your friends in that plane crash..." Susie replies, starting to cry. "I-I'm sorry, I wished on a shooting star for some friends and now your plane crashed and, and, it's all my fault!"
"H-Hey, um Susie, it's not your fault our sh- I mean plane went down... We had an accident, I saw the shooting star too, we were going down long before it passed us. There's no way that your wish caused our crash, so cheer up!" Hailey replies.
Susie hugs Hailey, instinctively bites her then quickly pulls away, with a worried look on her face.
"Hey! What was that for!?" Hailey cries, holding her neck where she just go bit.
"I-I'm so sorry!"Susie stammers.
"Explorer, this is an emergency, get me the hell out of here!" Hailey subvocalizes in a panicked tone causing the ship's AI to use the emergency transport to teleport Hailey and the rest of crew back on board.
"Jeez! Explorer, why didn't you tell me that they may want to eat me earlier!?" Hailey hollers at the ship's AI.
"They were not hostile, and you didn't ask." Replies the AI in a "Matter of Fact" tone.
"Why you... Explorer, you said they were "Humanoid", not "Human". Am I correct in assuming that that's the reason you made the distinction?" Queries the exasperated Officer.
*Explorer's AI* "You are correct, scans indicate that the native populace of this planet sustain themselves by drinking blood in addition to eating fruits and vegetables. Strangely they cannot digest meat, only the blood... One approximate match found in the database: Species closely represents a mythological creature from early 18th century Southeastern Europe called a "Vampire", no exact matches found."
"Vampires, seriously!?" Hailey takes a moment to calm down, then starts subvocalizing. "Explorer, you're saying that they are not hostile?"
"Ok I'm going to patch myself up, then I want you to send me back, but this time, drop me off outside the building I was in."
"Are you sure?"
"She's just a kid, and she's probably as scare of me as I am of her, so yes, I'm sure."
Explorer waits for Hailey to patch herself up, then sends her to the front door of the building.
Susie is crying, her crying wakes up her mom
"Susie, What's wrong!? where did-" Mrs. Mitchel is interrupted by a Knock at the door "Just a second Susie... Who is it?."
"My name Is Hailey Stoneheart." Hailey replies from outside the door.
"Sorry I don't recognize the name, you might have the wrong house."
"This is the Mitchel residence is it not?"
"Yes, it is. But I st-" Mrs. Mitchel is interrupted by Susie.
"Mommy, I know that voice! It's that lady, the one who just disappeared!"
"Oh, good! Susie I wanted to apologize for earlier, I'm sorry if I scared you by disappearing like that, I just panicked! May I come in and explain myself?"
"Yes! I want to apologize too!"
"Thank you, If you could stand out of the way of the door I'll come in." Susie and her mom move safely out of the way of the door and out of the reach of any sunlight.
"Y-Your not wearing protective clothing! How?" Susie and her mother cry in unison.
Hailey comes in and closes the door behind her with a big smile on her face. "That's quite the reaction! May we sit down?"
"Y-Yes!" Replies Mrs. Mitchel, staring wide-eyed at Hailey.
"Thank you." They all sit on the "beds" in the livingroom. "I'll bet you have allot of questions, but before you ask, I'm not an illusion, far from it, I'm an alien!"
"A-An alien? Don't play games with me! Who are you really?" Mrs. Mitchel demands.
"I'll prove it!" Still smiling, Hailey subvocalizes something, and something resembling a tablet computer appears in her hand. "I'll show you a map of my home system, look!" Hailey writes something on the screen and a 3D holographic map of the solar system appears. "Aside from the fact that there is nothing like this (indicating the computer) on your planet, here is a map of my home, do you believe me yet?"
"Y-Yes, but... How can I explain having you in my house, especially to my husband? And what about when the government finds out? Surely they'll take you away to study you!"
"Oh, you have a point there..."
"M-Mom, I just realized something, her blood, I can smell her blood now!"
"Um, am I missing something here? Is there something special about Susie being able to... smell my blood?"
"Yes! It means that they can't take you away from me! Being able to smell the blood of another creature means that I am now especially attuned to your blood type. It's the type I need to live!"
"Um, so how does that stop them from taking me exactly? You must have been drinking blood up until now!"
"Actually, Susie just turned 5, yesterday was her birthday. We don't drink blood until our fifth birthday... Did Susie bite you?"
"Uh, yes, she did. Is that something special?"
"You are the first being that she bit! She is attuned to your blood type now! And since you are an alien, nothing else on our planet has your blood type, so they can't take you away!"
"Um, ok..." Hailey pauses to think for a moment. "Does Susie actually have to... bite me?"
"It's the easiest way... Oh, I see what you are getting at."
"Yeah, It wouldn't be the nicest thing to be bitten every morning... No offence!"
"None taken, but then how are we going to do this... when we bite something and start drinking, it normally dies from blood loss before too long!"
"H-How much blood are we talking about?"
"At most a litre a week... What are we going to do?" Sighs Mrs. Mitchel.
"I don't wanna kill my new friend!" Susie starts crying.
"Hold on! A litre? One litre at most, right?"
"Then we're fine! I can loose up to a litre of blood all at once before the first symptoms of blood loss occur, so up to one litre a week is something I can do! Besides I'm O-positive, I know that Richard, Sarah, Clowie and Keven are all O-Positive too!"
"O-Positive? What's that?"
"It's a blood type, one sec." Hailey subvocalizes something and a blood transfusion pack appears in her hand. "Here, try this."
"Yes, it's blood in a bag!"
.Susie opens bag and smells the blood. "It smells right!"
"I knew it!"
"That's not my blood, but it's also O-positive. That means that you are attracted to O-Positive blood, lucky you!"
"It's the most common blood type on my planet, we've got at least a 4 months worth of it in reserve, if you only drink a litre a week!" Hailey pauses and subvocalizes something to Explorer, then says "Wow, actually, your weeks and months have the same number of days as ours, but your day is 48 hours long! This means that we have 8 of our months to every 4 of yours! This is going to take a while to get used to..."
"Um, I Just realized, if you are an alien, how can we understand you?" Questions Susie.
"Don't you guys have sci-fi books? You know, universal translators?"
"But don't those need to hear the language for a while to be able to translate? You were speaking normally right off the bat!"
"Your mom did rescue me did she not? I can't imagine she didn't call for help, and if she did, they would have talked, which is enough for the translator."
"Oh, I get it! Cool!"
"Oh, I just thought of something... You wanna meet the ship's AI?"
Hailey writes something on the screen and Explorer's AI can now be heard from the computer's speakers. "Yes, Officer Stoneheart?"
"Explorer, meet Susie and Mrs. Mitchel."
"Hello, Susie, Dr. Mitchel, I am The Ship's AI, you may call me Explorer."
"How did you know I was a doctor?"
"When you were on board the explorer, I was listening, and learning from what you were saying while you were rescuing the survivors."
"What about privacy? How do you guys manage that while he is always listening?"
"I don't listen unless people tell me to by addressing me by name, all crew are unconscious, or as in this case, activating a remote interface in "Interactive Mode" so, there is plenty of privacy aboard the ship. Also this is off topic but I have been able to bring the remaining pods back online, Pilot Richard Castway and Sr. Engineer Tom Lockheart are both alive, their lifesigns are weak but I have been able to stabilize them for now. They do not require immediate medical assistance. All other pods report fatalities. I am sorry, I know you and the Commodore were old friends, there is nothing that can be done for her, her pod was hit by micrometeorites. I am also sorry to report that Jr. medical officer Keven Seal has just passed away from his wounds, his medicomp was unable to compensate for the blood lost from internal bleeding, broken spine, and the compound organ failure at the same time..."