In a dark room strewn with cables running between dozens of radios, two men dozed in rickety chairs. Glowing dials twitched and the low buzz of static permeated by the occasional clicks emanated from the speakers while the clock on the wall inched its way closer to dawn. From somewhere outside, a screech like metal pierced the stuffy air.
One man opened his eyes and scanned the room. Sitting up, he lifted the large rifle that'd been resting upright against his thigh and leaned forward to tap his companion on the arm. With a sniff he awoke and looked over his shoulder. The first man got up and pulled a heavy revolver from the holster across his chest.
"Heard one of 'em outside." The second man took the handgun with a nod of routine acknowledgement. Rifle in-hand, the first trudged from the room to the heavy cabin door. With habitual caution, he stepped out into the crisp night air. A morning breeze swayed the trees that extended as far as the eye could see beneath a sky bright with stars.
His shrewd gaze passed over the forest and distant mountains, filtering out the lush foliage in search of something. That something moved in the gaping black hole where the dirt road passed between the tree trunks to reach the rocky hilltop. Gripping the rifle with both hands, he looked closer.
From the trees passed an alien creature. At first glance it resembled a wolf, but the size of a bear. No hair covered its pale skin stretched across a mammalian skeleton that prowled with lizard-like steps. Its thin, long limbs looked hauntingly human-like, but the head resembled a reptilian dog with crocodile's teeth and the wide, black eyes of a horse.
As its bony, cat-like tail passed out of sight, the man quietly stepped back into the cabin beneath dozens of antennae. His companion turned his chair to watch as he bolted the sturdy wooden door. With a disinterested sigh he sat back down and laid the rifle across his lap.
"They're getting bolder. This one walked right across the road in front of me."
"It's probably the radio signals. You notice how the birds never land on the array?"
"You're the technician. I'm not even sure what signals we're broadcasting."
"That makes two of us." He handed back the large revolver and got comfortable once more.