The cherry picker squeaked as it brought the three riders up to the alien vessel. The interior was dimly lit with a red glow. The ship greeted Skylar in Qwortarian, but they didn't respond. Hannah’s father, Robert, and another man watched every move Skylar made. The smell was thick in the air, coughing coming from all three as Skylar stood at the control panel.
"Sounds like bird calls." Robert said. He had volunteered to accompany Skylar.
"Yeah." Skylar replied. The ship's diagnostics came up on screen. Skylar scanned the series of dots, making sure that the humans hadn't been able to mess with any of the flight or navigation systems.
Not that they could make a run for it with the two humans on board. Even letting them land safely with an escape pod was sure to sour relations, and Skylar knew better than to risk that. If anything else happened to Qwortar's food supply Earth would still be one of the best resources.
Skylar was inputting the override code when they heard a strange gulp. Glancing behind them they noticed the second man looking less than stellar, almost green around the lips. Sweat beaded on his forehead, and his eyes bulged a little bit.
"Are you queasy?" Skylar asked. They swiped away the warning that there were intruders on board. The ship was stubborn, popping up the notification several times, interrupting Skylar’s input.
"Will you just hurry up and shut down the smell! It's completely-"
"Nate." Robert spoke. "Enough."
It didn't take Skylar long to turn off the mechanism. With that the lights also turned white. "There." They slowly pulled their hands away from the control panel as instructed. "No new odor will be produced, though it may linger for a while still."
"Good." Hannah's father stepped forward, taking Skylar's hands and placing them behind their back. "Are there any lethal defense mechanisms?"
"No." Skylar had disabled those on the journey to Earth. The metal was cold around their wrists. "Where are you going to take me?"
"A facility for questioning." Robert pushed Skylar towards the door, where the cherry picker was waiting.
"I already told you I'm not here to hurt anyone."
"Then why did you come?" Skylar only looked up at the blue sky as the cherry picker started to lower them down. "If you cooperate-"
"I have been!" Skylar looked over their shoulder. "I went with you peacefully, turned off the smell production, didn't take off with you and Nate inside, didn't do anything to John, Emily, Hannah, or anyone else I met."
"And all that will look very nice to our General. So, keep staying on your best behavior if you want to be able to leave."
Skylar pursed their lips, but didn't comment further as they were once more surrounded and escorted to a waiting car.
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