It was already a bright summer day in Jzamneh, and the thing that fell from the sky made it even brighter. It careen downwards with a luminescence not unlike a star, crashing into the trees at the north end of an otherwise quiet village. The faeries who saw it coming fluttered out of the way as fast as their tiny wings could carry them. The noise if made as it broke through the trees, tearing down branches and digging into the earth, brought the attention of every elf in the village. They left their wooden houses with their thatched roofs and ran towards the noise.
The first couple elves to see it turned back, shouting for the others to bring buckets of water. It was the worst thing to have happen to a forest: the thing was on fire. The villagers dashed to whatever nearby water source they could find, whether it was the fountain in the village square, the well nearby, or even the pond. Word travelled quickly and the strange burning contraption, and very soon there was a crowd of elves with buckets of water come to douse the fire.
That was one of the best things about Jzamneh: the people were always willing to work together. The village functioned as a sort of extended family, and the work was not done for the day so long as someone still needed help. Shu-Giri loved his people for it. He treasured life in the forest, and could not imagine living anywhere that did not have such a strong community.
By the time he arrived at the site of the crash, the fire had been so thoroughly soaked that the flames were completely gone, and the ground around the strange object was muddy. The villagers made way for Shu-Giri to pass through, and he walked up to find something more or less the size of a carriage lodged into the earth that it had dug up. It was sleek and glossy, as black as midnight, but nobody could identify what it was.
Shu-Giri touched it, his fingertips only timidly grazing over the blackness, and pulled back right away. It was still warm; nothing that could blister his fingers, but enough that he did not want to risk it. The outside of the pod-like object was so smooth that he was not sure whether it was glass or metal. He went around to the front of it (well, what he supposed was the front, since it was the leading end during the crash) and climbed onto the mound of dirt that it had pushed up.
“Over here!” he called, and the other villagers rushed over to find him digging away the earth with his bare hands to uncover the pod. Some of them joined in, one of them tossing him a pair of gloves, and a few others ran off to get their tools.
With the dirt out of the way, Shu-Giri could see that there was indeed some kind of glass at the front of it, but that it was heavily tinted and difficult. Besides that, it was riddled with a spider-web of cracks. Where the cracks stopped, he could see that another panel began. He tapped on it, and heard a metallic sound, which made him think about what he was looking at.
“I think this is some kind of transportation vessel,” he said after a moment.
“Without any wheels?” the man beside him asked, raising a brow in disbelief.
Shu-Giri nodded. “Look at the way this glass is at the front. It’s just the right shape and size to–” He stopped suddenly, and hopped over to the side of the thing.
“What’s wrong?” the man asked, following him.
Shu-Giri tapped on a panel on the side of the pod, then turned to the villager. “I think someone is in here.”
He turned away and asked the others for some rope. It did not take long for someone to bring any– in fact, enough of the elves brought rope that there was more than enough. They tied it around the body of the strange thing and pulled on it until it gave way and its length fell flat onto the ground with a heady thud that indicated that it was incredibly heavy.
The panel on the side clicked and opened a couple of inches, and Shu-Giri wasted no time in pulling it further open. It had cooled enough to touch, which helped because the panel was not very easy to move. A couple of the villagers stepped up to help him, and together they realized that they were pulling in the wrong direction; it was meant to move upwards. It turned out that the panel was in fact a door, and once it was completely open above them, like the wing of a black dragon shading its young, he could stare inside.
“I don’t believe it…” he whispered, his eyes widening at what he saw.
Inside the pods were seats of black leather, a round wheel that could be easily gripped and maneuvered, various buttons and switches, and, to his great surprise, two elves. They were not moving.
“Get them out of there!” he ordered those around him. “Get them to my house and call the medic. If they are lucky, the crash did not kill them.”
The villagers rushed to do as he asked. While the first body was extracted from the vehicle, Shu-Giri leaned against it and rubbed his temples. What sort of thing what this, and where had it come from? How had such a thing even been made? He had no way of knowing, unless the two figures inside of him could be revived and were willing to explain things.
As the second elf was lifted out of its seat, Shu-Giri began to walk back to his home. As village chieftain, he was responsible for the safety of his people, and he only hoped that these elves meant them no harm.