Ma’kel stepped out into the brisk night air. He looked up to the stars and shivered as he felt the cold air on his skin. It was his first time ever being on the surface of the planet and it was beyond anything he’d ever imagined. He had managed to steal away on a supply shuttle. It had landed here, at this place. A place he was not quite sure what it was. It seemed to house many small humans, children he’d heard them called.

He’d arrived in the early morning, just as the sun rose above the city. He watched in wonder as it came to life. He saw the joggers as they came and went, the morning commuters rushing to get to their destinations, and the children laughing and running off to some exciting place.

But one child, one child did not seem to feel the same as the others, for he lagged behind the rest and stared at the ground as he walked. When he was too far behind he saw what appeared to be a women dressed in a black dress and strange black head covering usher him along to catch up with the others. As the day progressed he walked about the city, seeing many different types of people and marveled at the cultures he saw. That people with so many differences could live together in harmony. It was not what he had been taught! These people did not live as animals. He was beginning to believe the other memories in his mind, the ones of what the humans would call his mother. The ones his parent had told him to forget. The ones with the smiling faces, the ones of warmth and love he wanted so much to be apart of.

"But why would he tell me such a lie? There is no benefit from keeping the information from me." As he continued on his way he heard a sound that he’d never heard before, he followed the sound to find a cluster of people surrounding about ten or so others, who were playing musical instruments, just underneath a balcony. He stayed and listened to the music. He had no idea what it was they were playing but the music seemed to speak to him. He listened as it penetrated his body, his entire being. When the music finally stopped he realized with a start that most of the crowd was gone, as was the sun. He headed back to the place he arrived at when he first landed, those hours ago…

As the night chill turned to a freeze he sought shelter within the building though a forgotten open window. The room was dusty and did not appear to be well used. He found some blankets stacked along a wall and decided to get some rest, for he knew tomorrow that he would go to see the ‘other’ in his memories. The one’s with the smiling faces and warm feelings….

Ma’kel awoke in the middle of the night to find he was hungry, he realized with a start that he had not eaten since leaving the home ship the day before, and set out in search of food. He remembered when his parent had let him in to the mother ship’s eatery once in awhile, when it was not a designated mealtime. He was sure this place had one as well. He wandered about for over an hour before finding the kitchen. Much to his dismay, everything was locked away.

Frustrated and hungry, he continued searching for an unlocked cupboard. Finally, to his delight, he found some fresh fruit on top of the cooler and ate all he could. Some thirty minutes later he was done eating. With a full belly and having rested he was curious as to what this place he was in was. He wandered about from room to room, taking in everything. He found rooms with more toys then he’d thought possible. There were drawings and colorful paintings on the walls as well.

As he continued his wanderings he thought he heard an odd noise, but after a moment it was gone and he dismissed it. A short while later he heard it again. This time more clearly, he followed the sound of the noise to a room lined with at least fifty beds, all with sleeping children. All but one, this one was calling to him. Needed him, but he did not understand why or how it was possible. Slowly he entered the room, careful not to wake anyone. He knew he should not be there, but he felt drawn to the being in pain. At the end of the room he saw a closet and found the noise to be emanating from there. Slowly he opened the door to find a child huddled in the corner with a blanket crying. As he reached out the child jumped back in fear.

"Wha-What are you?" The little boy sniffled. "Are you a g-ghost?"

"No. Do not worry, I will not harm you." He soothed. There was something about this child… something in him. "Why are you crying, little one?"

"I…I miss my mama…" The child managed to sob out.

"Your mama?" Ma’kel was momentarily perplexed. "Do you mean your mother?"

"Yeeeessss" The child sobbed out again.

"Where is your mother?"

"Shhheee died…" sobbing louder.

Feeling for the child and fearing his crying would wake the others he again reached out to the child, this time to his surprise the small child reached to embrace him. Through the contact he found what it was that drew him to the child…. A kindred spirit! One who had lost his parents so young and the other who had never gotten the chance to know his… He cradled him in his arms as though it were the most natural thing in the world and soothed him. In return the child somehow soothed him. As the boy calmed and started drifting off to sleep it occurred to him to find out this ones name.

"What is your name little one?"

"Alex" he answered sleepily as he snuggled closer.

"Alex." He whispered. "Do not worry, I will keep you safe."

He stayed there the majority of the night holding the child called Alex and thinking of what to do. He knew that he needed to go to the one that the ‘other’ memories came from.
When morning came Ma’kel and the child called Alex were gone.


"Where are we going?" Alex asked Ma’kel, as he skipped along beside his tall companion.

"To find to people in my memories." He answered frankly.

"Oh." Alex chewed his lip in concentration. "You mean the ones that you showed me last night? The ones that looked so nice?"

Ma’kel smiled. "Yes."

"Where are they?" Alex inquired with his natural curiosity.

"I-I don’t know." Ma’kel faltered. "But we have to find them." He was determined.

"Well, maybe if you know their names, you could find out where they are." He suggested innocently

Ma’kel considered it. Perhaps the boy was right. He knew the name of the kind woman, his mother, and he knew that there were things, directories of people’s names and where they lived. Maybe if he found one of those, he could find who he was looking for.

"I’m hungry." Alex announced suddenly, startling him out of his reverie. Ma’kel realized that he too, needed something to eat.

"Do you know where we can get some food?" He asked the child.

Alex thought for a moment. "How about…the mall?" He said brightly.

Ma’kel thought on this. He knew what a mall was, although he wasn’t sure how, and he came to the conclusion that it would be a good place to get food and maybe find a directory.

"That’s good." He answered. "Is there one near here?"

Alex nodded vigorously and pulled the Taelon down a street.

When they arrived at the mall, Ma’kel was stunned. He had never seen such a place. Full of people and colors and sights and smells…like a whole city indoors! After taking in as much as he could, he pondered the problem of food. He knew that the humans used money to get things, so it seem unlikely that anyone would simply give them something to eat. Ma’kel wasn’t even sure what money looked like.

It was then that he noticed something black sitting alone on a bench.

"Alex," He asked. "What is that?"

The boy looked at it. "It’s a wallet." He announced.


"You know…for money and junk."

Ma’kel considered this. If there was money, then they could get food. And it didn’t look like anyone wanted it. He quickly strode over to the bench and picked it up. "Alex, does this have ‘money’ in it?"

The boy took it opening it up and shook his head no. "Its empty."

"Then we shall have to find other means to obtain what we require."

Alex thought about this and apparently came to the conclusion that his friend was right. He was awfully hungry though. Alex found a directory at a pay phone for Ma’kel who was soon absorbed in looking for names. When he finally found what he was looking for, or at least he thought so, he turned to tell Alex, only to find that the child had wondered off. Momentarily alarmed, he wondered what to do. However, he soon spotted the boy outside a shop filled with toys.

He was fingering a strange little yellow stuffed figure. Ma’kel’s thoughts flashed back to the mother ship. One day, when he very young, Zo’or had brought him a gift because he was lonely. He remembered because it had looked just like the thing that Alex was gazing at now. It had consoled him whenever he had had a hard time, because it always reminded him that his parent cared for him, just a little at least. He hadn’t had time to take it with him when he left.

Alex looked up at Ma’kel. "Did you find it?" he asked softly.

"I believe so. What is that?"

"Nothing." Alex looked guilty. He had really wanted one like it for his birthday, but at the orphanage they didn’t get presents. His mama had been going to get him one, but then…

"It is very nice." Ma’kel looked at the toy. One like it had made him feel better when he was alone. Maybe…He picked up the toy and handed it to Alex. "Here." He said kindly.

Alex smiled and hugged the hybrid, hard. He grasped the doll firmly in on hand and, slipping the other hand in to Ma’kel’s, they set out to find the smiling people and something to eat elsewhere.


At Harvey’s Orphanage for Young People, the Headmistress was searching frantically for Alex. She had sent some of the other workers out to all of his favorite places. I should have known better than to leave him without adult supervision so soon after his parents’ death, she thought. Not even at night. She jumped as the phone rang. It was one of her workers calling from the mall downtown.


"Yes, have you found anything?" she asked worriedly.

"A couple of people have seen a boy matching Alex’s description, but…" He trailed off.

"What is it?" She demanded. "Is he okay?"

"Ma’am…they said he was with a someone wearing a Taelon uniform!"

She staggered in shock. "Just stay there for now." She said, and hung up. She had never entirely trusted the aliens. Sure, they donated supplies to the orphanage on occasion, but she still hadn’t always been sure of their good intentions. But this! She had never dreamed that they would do anything so cruel and heartless. Kidnapping a poor orphan boy for who knew what reason. It was not to be tolerated. She quickly looked up the number for the Taelon embassy in Washington. They would hear about this, and they would continue to hear about it until Alex was back, safe and sound.

Sandoval, Lili, and Beckett were scouring the town. The embassy had received a call that morning from a woman who ran an orphanage that received deliveries of supplies from the Taelons. They had received a shipment two days ago, and now one of the children, a boy named Alex, was missing, and he had apparently been spotted with Ma’kel. Beckett had gone to interrogate various shop keepers, while Sandoval and Lili had stayed in the mall to see what they could dig up.

Sandoval stood looking around and beginning to feel the frustrations at not being able to find the child. It’s bad enough the kid’s an orphan, he thought. But to be kidnapped by an alien too? Now he was really beginning to feel sorry for the boy. With determination he opened his global and called Beckett "Have you found anything yet?"

"No, and that’s what I’m worried about." She paused before continuing "What would he want with Alex?"

"I don’t know. Perhaps Zo’or will be able to shed some light on this." At her nod he closed the link and called his assistant "Marquette, have you found anything from reviewing the security tapes?"

"Yes, yes I have… I think you should see this."

"What’s your location?"

"K-Bee’s toy store at the south end of the mall"

"I’m on my way" with that he closed his global and headed for the toy store.

When Sandoval arrived at the toy store he found his assistant playing with what appeared to be a strange looking stuffed toy. "We’re here to work Captain, not to play" as soon as she looked up he continued "What have you found?"

"This." She handed him the toy he had just accused her of playing with.

"What does-" She cut him off before he could finish.

"Ma’kel stole one of these" she said suppressing a smile.

"Why would he steal a toy?" he wondered out loud.

"Maybe it’s for Alex, the kid is probably whining a lot" she offered.

"Captain, what exactly is this thing called?"

Unable to suppress a smile any longer "It’s… it called a Teletubbie" she replied with a sheepish grin.

"A Teletubbie?" he asked looking bewildered. What will they think of next? he wondered. "What exactly does it do Captain?" At that exact moment the Teletubbie came to life as if in answer of his question "Oho!" A moment later "Play!"

"Oh no!" He thought "I remember this type of toy from the 80’s, they were highly annoying even back then" Once again it came to life "Laalaa!"

"Laalaa?" he said looking puzzled.

"That’s its name" Sandoval gave her a puzzled look.

"You know, its what our parents give us when were born." She said in a humorous tone.

"I know what a name is Captain!" he snapped

"Sorry." she mumbled, making it clear that she was not.

"What else have you found?" he demanded becoming irritated.

"This." She replayed a video tape for Sandoval "Here, this is Ma’kel" as she pointed him out on the screen "and the little guy over here is Alex"

Sandoval studied the tapes for several minutes then stated "Something’s wrong… do we have any audio with this tape?"

"No, they usually don’t have any need for so much security. Am I missing something?"

"I don’t know…. Something’s not right"

Marquette gave him one of her ‘if you say so’ looks and decided to try another route. "Well at least the kid looks in good shape." She paused for a moment then looked a little closer to the monitor "A little too good. Actually, he looks…" Sandoval interrupted her before she could finish.

"Do you have anything else?"

"We’re in luck. The camera showed them leaving the building and the parking lot cameras show them catching a city bus." She put in a disk and pointed out two figure’s one adult and one child holding hands heading for the mall exit. Then pointed to another monitor that shows them waiting for a bus, which after a few minutes wait they boarded.

"Can we sharpen this image to find out what bus number that is?" he inquired

"No, not with this equipment. We’ll have to take it back to the embassy and analyze it there."

At that moment Sandoval’s global beeped, in a flash he had it open.

"What progress have you made?’ Zo’or demanded to know

"Ma’kel was here." Sandoval reported. "He stole a toy from a toy store then caught a bus with Alex. Were returning to the embassy to determine the bus number and possible route he took."

"He stole a toy?" Zo’or asked with more then a little interest

"Yes, it appears to be some kind of stuffed animal, is this of importance to you?"

"Bring it to me immediately" Zo’or sneered

"Of course, Zo’or. Anything else?"

"No, report back here immediately"

"Yes, Zo’or" Sandoval closed his global and turned to his assistant. "Prep the shuttle, Captain. I’ll be out shortly."

She nodded her head in acknowledgement and headed for the shuttle I wonder what Zo’or would want with a Teletubbie.

A few minutes later Sandoval made his appearance carrying the Teletubbie

I really wish I had a camera right now, she thought. For some reason she found the sight incredibly funny and was chuckling more then a little by the time he arrived at the shuttle. As he boarded she heard him mumble "I cant believe the guy made me pay for this thing!" as he threw it in the passenger seat to his right.

"What do you find so funny Captain?" he demanded to know.

"Ah… nothing" she smiled. Still trying not to laugh

"Then I suggest you stop laughing"

She managed to school her face into a serious look and turned around to speak to Sandoval "You should…" but she stopped as she realized he was already strapping the toy in snuggly. She was finding it even harder not to laugh as she finished prepping the shuttle.


Alex and Ma’kel had boarded the bus only to find themselves being refused passage two blocks later.
"No money, no ride!" They heard the driver yell as he slammed the door behind them and departed leaving them standing in a black dust cloud from the bus’s exhaust.
"You meanie!" Alex yelled after the driver. Looking up he asked "What do we do now?" "We must walk"
"Walk!? It will take forever!"
"I promise it shall not" Ma’kel informed him with a smile although he feared the child may be right.

"I’m hungry" Alex said as he looked up to his new found friend.

They had been walking the city for quite some time while Ma’kel was attempting to discern where they were and how to leave the city. "I am afraid I was not prepared for this world, I will need your help." He told the young one. "Where can we obtain nourishment?"

"Do you have any money?"


"You know, you use it to buy things!"

"I am afraid I do not have any money."

Alex looked thoughtful for a minute then looked around "There!" he exclaimed "It’s a food kitchen, its were the people without money go! Come on!" he grabbed Ma’kel’s hand and proceeded to drag him off to the kitchen. Half an hour later they had there lunches in front of them and were digging in.

"How did you know of this place?" Ma’kel inquired

"Mommy helped people who didn’t have things, she used to bring me here sometimes to help her."

"To this place?"


"Alex?!" they heard a woman yell "Alex! It IS YOU my child!" Ma’kel looked up to find an elderly Jamaican women in a wheel chair come up behind Alex.

"Marie!" Alex squealed as he jumped up and gave her a hug.

"I am so sorry about your mama. What are you doing here? And whose this with you?" she asked as he climbed into her lap.

"That’s Ma’kel, he took me from the sad place."

"and what are you doing here then?" she inquired again


"I can see that my child. Where are you staying now?"

"Ummm….. " he mumbled as he shook his shoulders

"I see. And you," as she looked in Ma’kel’s direction "where are you staying?"

Ma’kel looked down at his feet while he thought for a moment trying to think of an answer that would please the woman.

"That’s what I thought, come, you can stay at my home for now."

"Cool! Marie’s house is neat! She can tell you the future!" Alex squealed with delight still sitting on Marie’s lap.

And I'm still working on the rest.