Natalie Mizrahi Ezekiel Hu Atticus Montgomery She had once thought that the message coming from above would be a sign of hope. A sign that, even after centuries, that they had not been alone. Alone in this small Earth. Secretly, she had suspected it would happen, with how ginormous the universe really was. Though, perhaps ginormous was an understatement. However, their first sign of life had come quite closer than Natalie had thought. A signal from the star Proxima Centauri. She remembered the moment it came, sitting by the desk, still jittery from the caffeine flowing in her system, nearly asleep. There stood a large window with a telescope that detected radio signals from space and observed stars simultaneously. They called it the Meteor 7450, a name with a more tongue and cheek origin, the first item spotted being a meteor that crashed into the town. Of Meteor Falls. The irony from many years ago had still remained today. Natalie nearly fainted from excitement that day. Though, it seemed like her blood went cold as soon as she finally decoded what the message meant. Natalie was in denial with what the message meant. "Hide before they find you." At first, it was disbelief, but as news went around about the signal, it was like a human's worst fear had come true. The media began to ambush Natalie and her other coworkers frequently with questions of the next sign of life. However, until the day they came was the worst day of her life. The staff members had attempted communicating frantically with the star system, sending radio signal after signal. They even sent satellites and other space technologies to Proxima, but with no sign of life. Their actions had been too little too late and all they had to do was continue on living. Though, even that was becoming futile. Unknown malfunctions plagued their computers and any form of communication. Natalie had never expected aliens in the first place, but those malfunctions only increased in severity to the point that most of the work could not be completed other than the basic paperwork or labwork that didn't involve communicating with alien life. That fateful day of the invasion had sent the Meteor Falls Observatory to a lockdown. She was working overtime with some other select members when the invasion happened. All the doors, entrances and windows were completely bolted shut with the best of metals. It was nearly indestructible, to both aliens and humans. The only catch was that nobody could come in and it was too dangerous to go out. The observatory had food, water, showers and other basic facilities that would be able to keep them alive for a long time. Though, Natalie's regret had ironically been not working overtime to the point she couldn't say goodbye to her family one last time. Now, she fell asleep, many weeks after the invasion on an uncomfortable white couch. The cup of coffee she had previously been drinking was now on the table in front of her. Her light brown hair was disheveled as she clung onto the cushions. It had been too long and due to not having the time to do anything else anymore, fixing the computers seemed to be the only thing that Natalie bothered to do. No way she was actually socializing with other coworkers unless it was necessary. In fact, most of them had left to find family. Though, a part of her refused to leave her mission unsettled. Lifting her face, which had been pushing against the nearest cushion, she looked around. Seeing Charles, a fellow coworker, from her plain of vision, Natalie dug her face back into the pillow. "Good morning..." The woman spoke groggily. She was wearing a small, white tank top with sweatpants and sneakers. The point of looking professional had been lost until it was completely necessary, so seeing a lab worker dressed like Natalie was rather commonplace. First Neptune, and now Proxima Centauri? Ezekiel was born ready for space. Calm under pressure, analytical as well as capable. More so, a space doctor. There were a lot of things that he admitted to not knowing. Space was one of them, the planets, the stars and just the beauty of it all. Not a lot of people were allowed on a spacecraft, so most of the time, he was the only doctor on board. Knowing things meant power, and damn, does this guy like knowing things. The message changed his life, even if he refused to admit it. Indirectly, directly, you name it. At first, he shrugged it off. Big deal. The aliens could just be radio signal trolls hungry for attention for all he cared. The ever so skeptical Ezekiel Hu, or Doctor Hu, he liked to call himself, didn't believe it. He even called bullshit on the message on the occasional Saturday night drunk. Though, more people started coming out with their stories of aliens and probing. Eventually, more research had been done, finding no sign of life. The signals stopped abruptly and something was clearly off. When asked to go to Proxima to investigate, he simply treated it like every other mission. Nothing to get worried about, just checking up on Greys. The only thing he was really scared for was if they would actually stick a cold, metal probe in his ass. That, and the regular things, such as the rocket crashing, running out of oxygen, and death. For an arrogant guy, he was quite fearful of the thought of mortality. Everyone dying someday sounded awfully depressing to him. Little did the crew know, that the Earth was going to be in the same state as Proxima sooner or later if they didn't act quickly. The ship was functional, but compact. It was meant for Ezekiel and the crew to simply fly in and out after a few weeks, even months, take some pictures, gather evidence in airtight bags and make sure none of them could kill you. Speaking of that, there were plasma guns that made no sound when you fired, but were just as deadly and didn't have the restrictions a bullet had. Those were only used in cases of monsters ever attacking. With a lack of signal, you could be really gambling your life. Bunkers were located just beside the main command center and there was an open window that linked the both together. Ezekiel was dressed in a wifebeater and basketball shorts. The rest of the crew seemed to have woke up before him, leaving him to be the only one. Ezekiel saw Sonia and another astronaut sit back and watch over the ship. Getting up, he grabbed a ration bar, chewing on it slowly. Deciding to be a little shit, his bedroom was right next to the window connecting them. He lifted his feet up against the window and tapped with his hand. "Mornin', captain." He called, nonchalantly. "Anything interesting?" Atticus had been one of the witness accounts to an alien abduction. Well, it didn't really count as a witness if he was the only one that actually saw it happen. He was working part time in a comic book store. No one was there. Typical. Why did he even decide to work here? No one really read anymore, and the person owning the store was just doing it for a family tradition. So, as a result, Atticus had read every single issue on every single shelf or just studied by himself. It was lame, but what was even lamer was that an alien actually bothered to show up. The bright lights came first. In the middle of the night, the upstairs storage room looked abnormally bright. Getting up in his Spiderman boxer shorts to check it out, he was open to the sight of his lifetime. He didn't remember much. Atticus went unconscious from shock, later feeling a floating, yet numb feeling in his body. Blurred, grey faces passed by him one by one with different tools and probes. Beginning to hallucinate, he noticed that he wasn't able to speak or move. The passage of time was much slower in this ship as they flew away. Sooner or later, he felt nauseous with a metallic taste in his mouth. From there, it felt like that alien message released to the public was some sort of explanation to it all. That maybe the greys from Proxima had something to do with this. Maybe they would invade Earth and it would be too late. Atticus soon spoke out about his experience and joined several internet forums to speak of conspiracy theories. A support group had even started for the sake of victims of alien abductions. The group met every Tuesday and Thursday at 7pm in the basement of the YCMA. It was sketchy, but then again, so were alien abductions. He made many friends, though those friends would soon be picked off in an instant. When the silent blue warning showed up on the screen, he secretly knew that this was what happened. The invasion became a reality, though they weren't Greys. They were something much worse. Cronenberg body monstrocities that stood several feet tall moved at an eerily calculated pace of a hive mind. Small parasites attached to the head or neck of the beasts and ate human flesh. From what Atticus knew, banging them over the head with a shovel killed the parasites along with the creatures. Soon, the Coping with Probing group banded together to take down the threat and survive... but all that happened were each member getting picked off or eaten alive. Atticus knew it was not strength, but luck that still kept him alive. Whether or not he still even had that was a mystery. Even the strong died on an especially unlucky day. On the bright side, he formed a close bond with the members that did survive with him. Atticus had learned to sleep on the ground and have cycled night watches to stay safe, though, they tended to stay out of underground areas like the basement. Spotting a fellow member, a rather loud one near him, he opened his brown eyes. "...Hey." How charming. He was never a conversationalist, but I mean, he tried. Giving Phebe a rather bashful smile, he checked his solar watch. It was 5:30am. "Tired?" Atticus was wearing a hoodie with some comfortable jeans as he awkwardly retreated his hands back. "Buuuut yeah... uh... I-I'm glad you're not dead..."