“Get his legs,” commanded Raitchosge.
I automatically moved into action. I grabbed Daniel’s legs and picked him up with Raitchosge. We put him down on my bed and left the room. I shut the door behind me and looked at Raitchosge.
“I should go,” I said robotically.
“Where to?” he asked.
I paused. “I don’t know.”
“Exactly. You have nowhere else to go, you have to stay here. Go back to sleep, you can sleep in my bed. I’ll sleep on the couch.”
"Nonsense. I'm not going to get back to sleep anyway," I said.
"The same nightmare?"
He sighed. "What are you going to do about them?"
"Deal with it, I guess. There's nothing I can do. Why's Daniel here?" I asked, changing the subject.
“He got thrown out of college and his mother sent him down here.”
“At 5 in the morning?”
“He’s been on the train for about an hour. He was vandalising walls, so they threw him out.”
“How long’s he staying?”
“About a month, until his suspension ends.”
“Okay. He can have my room.”
“No, no, he’s sleeping in my room while I sleep on the couch.”
“You sure?” I asked. He nodded. “I guess I’ll go and finish fixing the computer.”
“Night. Or morning, rather.”
And I was alone on the landing. I walked down the stairs. I went, took the side off the computer tower and got to work. I finally found the loose wire after about 20 minutes. I then set about putting it all back. I put the screws back in place and sighed with relief.
“Where did you learn to do that?” someone asked from behind me.
I stiffened and slowly turned to look. It was Daniel. He was standing in the doorway and smiling. I stood up and continued watching him.
“My dad,” I said.
“Where is he? Away on business and left you with his mate?”
“He’s dead.” His smile dropped.
“Oh. I’m so sorry. What about your mum?”
“Dead, like my grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. I’m the last one.”
“Why are you on Earth?”
“My ship crashed and I’m on the run from every single intelligence agency you know and also several you don’t.”
“How long have you lived with my dad?”
“10 years?” he repeated. “He’s never mentioned you.”
“What was he going to say? ‘Hey, son, I have a pet alien’? I doubt it.”
“You’re his pet?”
“No, it was an example.”
“Okay. So, if you’re an alien, do you have any superpowers?”
“Like being able to suck people’s brains out.”
“Why would I want to do that?”
“But, don’t aliens probe people’s brains to find out more about the human race?”
“That’s aliens from SN 1054. Horrible people, blowing up planets for natural resources apparently, that’s what I was told.”
“Where are you from?”
I looked down. “We never had a name for our star. It went supernova over a thousand years ago and helped form M2-9. That’s all anyone knew. If therewasa name, it was long lost.”
“Minkowski 2-9. Also called the Twin-Jet Nebula.”
“How do you know so much?”
“We, sort of, hacked NASA about 12 years ago. We got all our information about space there.”
“How old were you?”
“How do you remember?”
“I remember everything. I remember being born, and watching my father cry over my dead mother. I remember learning to walk, and I remember saying my first word. And everything since then.”
“What was your first word?”
I smiled. “Jinko.”
“Jinko? Is that a word?”
“In my language. It means ‘friend’. Non jinkou et mu.”
“What does that mean?”
“Translated literally, it means ‘my is no friends’, but it really means ‘I have no friends’.”
“No. I’m alone, always alone.”
“How old are you?”
I looked up at him. “16.”
“Don’t you go to school?”
“My skin glows in the dark, my skin glitters silver, like my nails, my hair is white, my eyes are neon green and close sideways. That’s hardly normal.”
The sun was rising and the curtains were open. I pulled the black-out curtains shut and turned the main light on. It took a while to warm up so my skin shone slightly.
“You saw my skin when you arrived, it freaked you out enough I don’t need someone calling the police who’d notify MI6 and I’d be dragging away for experiments.”
“What sort of experiments?”
“I think something along the line of an autopsy. They’d find my two hearts and three lungs.”
“You have two hearts and three lungs?”
“And teeth in my stomach.”
“In the lining, to break down food. I don’t have gastric acid like you do.”
“That’s creepy.” I smiled. “Are all the teeth in your mouth canines?”
I opened my mouth wider. “Yeah.” I closed my mouth.
“That’s creepy,” he said again.
I turned the television on and dropped onto the couch.