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Rated: 13+ · Short Story · Action/Adventure · #2187965
The aliens arrived three years ago. Today they helped out during the worst earthquake.
The Martinez family were having a pretty good day, though they struggled to make ends meet. They had gone to the plaza in front of the oldest Catholic Church in Mexico City. El Catedral Metropolitana de la Asunción de María (The Metropolitan Cathedral of the Assumption of Mary) which is situated atop the former Aztec sacred precinct near the Templo Mayor on the northern side of the Plaza de la Constitución in Downtown Mexico City. At the plaza, there was plenty of room for children to be able to run and play. With Mexico City being one of the most populated cities in the world, playground areas were becoming sparse. The Martinez kids had plenty of time as well. Their parents were enjoying the two days of "vacation" their dad took. In actuality, the Jéfe (his boss) told him that if he wanted a day off, it would have to be without pay. Even though he knew it would only make things a bit tighter, Mr. Martinez still took the days off, he had made a promise to take the kids to the plaza and he was going to keep his word.
After buying the children some paletas (frozen ice cream treats), they decided to enter the church to pay respect to the Virgin Mary and God.
"You will have to finish your treats before we can enter the church" urged the dad.
"And clean your mouths and hands," said Mrs. Martinez, "You don’t want to make a mess in there. God will get mad at you!"
When they finally did enter, they did so with reverence and awe. The church was amazingly old and well preserved. You almost had the sense that it is as old as God himself. The aura of peacefulness was almost overwhelming. Each of the Martinez's dipped the first and second fingers of their right hands in the small basin located near the entrance. Once having touched the “holy water,” they made the sign of the cross by touching their foreheads then their chests and finally the left and right shoulders in that order. They walked quietly whispering about the beauty of the House of God.
They continued down the main aisle of the sanctuary until they had arrived near the altar. They stood there looking at the statues behind it and along the walls to either side. The cross of Jesus up on the wall behind the stage area was impressive.
"Mommy," the youngest Martinez said, pulling on his mother's skirt, "Jesus waved at me."
"What are you talking about?" she said, annoyed that he would make such a statement, "Stop talking nonsense."
"I saw it too," said the oldest child, "Jesus' hand moved."
That got the attention of all of them, so they turned to watch the Jesus figure on the impressive cross. As they were staring, it did seem to move, a little at first, but more as they kept watching. Suddenly they felt trembling beneath their feet.
"Mommy, Poppy, I’m scared," cried the youngest, reaching out for, and cling onto, his dad.
"Ay, Dios Mio (Oh, my God)," said dad very slowly, "Let's get out of here, it’s an earthquake.
Mexico City has had many earthquakes. Some of them severe. They were about to have another one. Mom and Dad Martinez grabbed the youngest children, picked them up and started running toward the exit. The older kids ran beside them. They got about half way down the aisle when the main tremor hit. The church shook so hard that the Martinez's were knocked to their knees and to the floor. The statute of Jesus on the cross behind the pulpit was thrown to the floor and smash into pieces and then the walls started caving in. The windows, some of which were hundreds of years old, began bursting, sending shards of glass everywhere. The rumbling was like a series of explosions and the Martinez’s began screaming. Within a minute, the majority of the grand old church was rubble.
After returning back from the Earth, the SubLord had made an extra effort to establish and maintain a constant flow of information regarding the events of the planet. One of the ship’s officers contacted the SubLord when reports regarding the earthquake in Mexico City began coming in.
“The Mexican government is asking for our help with the devastation from the earthquake. There were many buildings which have collapsed and they need help removing the rubble so they can search for the bodies. They are asking if we can use some of our anti-gravity technology in the rescue effort.”
Qol had already been heading to the LordCommander’s quarters when he received the report. He now quickened his pace.
"Enter," said Teo, looking up from a magazine he was reading and Qol did so. Qol entered and saluted the LordCommander.
"What's happening Qol," asked Teo sensing that his second-in-command was tense.
Qol explained what was happening in Mexico City and about the request of the Mexican government.
Teo thought for a moment and said, "Qol, why don't you oversee the aid to the Mexican people. I think it will help give you a better perspective on these humans."
"As you command," said Qol.
Ten shuttles arrived in Mexico City, carrying hundreds of Lydean engineers and warriors. There had been reports of looting and violence, and the government requested that the warriors come in to assist the Mexican police and soldiers. Other countries had offered assistance and the Mexicans accepted their aide in the rescue effort, but they rejected all offers of foreign militaries entering Mexican soil. The difference with the Lydeans was that the President of Mexico and his staff decided that the aliens had not picked sides or political positions concerning the other nations on earth. They felt comfortable that the aliens would help and then leave. On the other hand, the Mexican government did accept the aid of the United Nations who sent a large number of blue-helmeted personnel to assist in the effort.
The warriors were given authority to fire on criminals and violators, but only with their weapon settings on stun. The Lydean weapons were now world famous for their ability to stun and were desired by all the police forces throughout the Earth.
The Lydean engineers immediately went to work alongside the Mexican workers at removing the debris. Because of the anti-gravity apparatuses, they were able to move large pieces of broken walls and structures quicker and safer. The Mexican engineers and volunteers had to be constantly reminded to concentrate on their work as they were curious of the aliens and amazed at the effectiveness of the anti-gravity units. The shuttles also were put into use for transporting the wounded to hospitals which still functioned or to nearby cities as the craft could get to those places at much quicker speeds. In a few cases, due to severe burns, patients were transported to the Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas, because of its fame for dealing with burned patients.
The Lydean engineers were also able to help in one more area that the humans lacked in technology. They had brought instruments with them that were able to scan through the rubble and identify biological signatures of people trapped underneath. This allowed them to concentrate their initial efforts on buildings in which there were trapped people who were still alive.
One of the teams with a scanner came to the old Catholic church building and scanned the debris.
“There are people here,” shouted the alien engineer to others in her team, “bring the anti-gravity units here at once!”
The rescue workers immediately got to work. The Lydeans with the anti-gravity units started moving the larger pieces while the others either used standard available equipment to move debris or just used their hands. As they got closer to the people they had found with the scanners one of the Lydeans was able to finally see the group. They were two adults and five children and though they seemed to be somewhat roughed up, the walls had fallen in such a manner around them as to form a sort of tent over them. At the same time, he noticed that one of the sections was about to give, possibly falling and crushing the family. He realized that even with the anti-gravity units, the damaged structure could still collapse before enough debris could be removed to make the rescue safer.
In Spanish, the alien rescue worker yelled to the man in the group, “Tomen la mano de uno y otro y detengan esta cosa! (Hold each other’s hand and hold onto this thing).” He then threw his own personal force field unit to the Mexican man, who not knowing what it actually was, recognized that somehow it might help save his family. The second that he grabbed the force field generator, and with his family all holding hands, the force field extended to cover all who were touching. At the same time, another Lydean was using her antigravity unit on a different part of the damaged building walls. When she moved her section of the damaged walls it caused more stress to the structure over the Martinez family. The section which was over the family bucked slid and fell. The Family crouched even further down with the children screaming and crying. The section fell and hit the force field. The result was that it slid over the family and straight towards the Lydean engineer who had thrown his unit to the family. He saw it coming, but because of the precarious way he stood atop the rubble, he had no time to move or jump out of the way. The wall section slid into him, catching him sideways and crushing him against another wall section.
For just a moment, it seemed that time stopped, all the Lydeans present were stunned into motionlessness. It was almost incomprehensible that one of their numbers would be killed by such a meaningless thing as a falling wall, especially while trying to save the lives of others.
The moment seemed like an eternity, then, “Move!” shouted a Lydean officer, “Get those people out of the rubble.”
He recognized the incredulity on their faces, but this was not the time for dealing with this event, “I said MOVE!”
The frozen Lydeans and rescue workers jumped back into action. The wall sections over the family in the church rubble were removed and the family led to safety.
Once the remaining wall sections were removed three Lydeans carried the body of the alien engineer to a cleared area away from the destroyed church and laid the body down. Tears formed in their eyes as they searched for something to cover the body. They would have to wait to be able to transport the body as soon as a shuttle was available.
Before the cover was completely over his head, the mother, Mrs. Martinez, begged, “Por favor, dejen me ver el hombre de las estrellas que dio su vida por nosotros (Please let me see the man from the stars who gave his life for us).
The Lydean warriors stepped aside and made way for her. She walked slowly to the body on the ground. With tears streaming down her face, she stopped before the warrior and knelt.
“Un amor más grande que esto, tiene ningún hombre,” she said, “que de su vida por sus amigos” (Greater love has no man than this than to lay his life down for his friends). She then bent over the Lydean and kissed his forehead.
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