|There I was, sitting in the snow and talking to myself. "Okay, let me get this straight... Your name is Stokar and you're from outer space." Well, I wasn't exactly talking to myself though I was sitting in the snow. I was cold and I had a killer headache. And to make it even better, there was a dead alien next to me.
The day had started off so simply. While the rest of the guys were still sleeping in the lodge, I was at the top of the mountain to watch the sun rise. I was one of the fortunate few who only needed four or five hours of sleep a day so I was always up early and sunrise on a mountain top is usually pretty spectacular. I wanted to pretend I had the mountain to myself so I moved off from the main trails where most of the others were who also liked skiing at dawn. It wasn't a black diamond trail or anything so it was safe enough and I liked the illusion I had the world to myself.
Halfway down the mountain I spotted what looked like a boot sticking out of a pile of snow off to one side in the trees. I went over of course. Someone could have been in trouble and needed help. It was a boot and there was a leg as well so I quickly uncovered... Something. He was short. Even all crumpled up I could tell he had to be under five feet tall. Very thin too with sharp, delicate features. He was also a pale blue with absolutely black hair. Some kind of flexible armor covered him except it looked like someone took a blowtorch to it. Or maybe a nuke.
He didn't look like he was breathing and I couldn't feel a pulse. He was really, really cold. I reached for my cellphone to call for help but before I could, something jumped out of his mouth. There was this sharp pain in my neck and then I must have passed out. When I woke up, the sun was much higher, I was freezing, and my head was splitting. There was also someone talking to me. In my head. "Okay, let me get this straight... Your name is Stokar and you're from outer space."
I got a quick lesson on Stokar's species. His is a symbiotic race that lives within other bodies. The dead guy was his last host, Marek. They were both members of L.E.G.I.O.N. - some kind of space cops - and tracked some criminal to Earth. The bad guy won. Fortunately for Stokar, the guy was also hurt badly and had to take off before making certain they were dead. Unfortunately, Marek was hurt too badly for Stokar to heal and could only keep his body alive long enough in the hope someone came by. Like me. And when I did, the symbiont transferred to me to save his own life.
It took several hours for Stokar to bond with me enough to be able to talk to me. He's twined around my spine and has feelers in my brain or something. I really don't want to think too hard about that. Something funny happened though... Normally when he bonds to a host, they're just like two people in one body though he can affect the host to do things like heal him and keep him from getting sick or aging too fast.
With me though, something strange happened. Maybe it has to do with how Earth has lots of superheroes. When I became his host, we became something 'more than the sum of our parts' as he put it. He... /we/ gained some mental abilities he never encountered before. He could always read the mind of his host but now we could do it to others. I could feel nearby minds skiing down the mountain.
It was a lot to take in. We beamed up to his ship - an incredibly cool spaceship in orbit - and he showed me around. He also sent a report back about what happened and we talked about my options. I could get rid of him if I wanted to. They'd send another host and he could transfer over without a problem. It was still soon enough for that and my body wouldn't adapt to him being in it for a few weeks. Or... we could stay together. Better than either of us alone. And with abilities that he never experienced before. They'd make him even more effective.
And me? I could fly around the galaxy in an amazing spaceship. I'd be a space cop. While the LEGION didn't have an official presence on earth, he was part of a task force that hunted down fugitives in this sector of space. Not just Earth but lots of worlds. And there was still the one that killed Marek, his last host and almost killed him too. I said yes. Not immediately but I had some time. He agreed to stay quiet and just answer any questions I had while I thought about it. We beamed back down to Earth and I finished my ski trip with my friends and then about a week after I found him, I said yes.
I've never really known what I wanted to do with my life. I'd always spent my time having fun, hanging out with friends, getting into trouble and letting my dad get me out of it. He was a member of the Gotham City council so had lots of pull with the police force. Fortunately, I'd never done anything he couldn't get me out of. But now I knew. Sure, it would be fun and incredibly cool. But I suddenly realized I could make a difference. And the bit that made me realize that? Hearing my dad's thoughts before Stokar could get our ability under control. He was corrupt. He took pay offs. He traded favor and influence for money. Pulling strings to get me out of trouble was the least of what he did. I suddenly felt dirty. I couldn't just do nothing so I said yes.
I'm still in college cause I want to finish my degree. I don't need to I suppose but I just want to. It'll be something that's just me. I told Stokar not to help me on any of my homework even if he thought he could. He's still pretty clueless about Earth in general but we're exchanging knowledge. We also redesigned the armor to fit me and I'm learning how to use the force lance. That guy he tracked is still somewhere on Earth too unless he decided to go find another planet to hide on. If he is, I'll find him. We'll find him. I need to get used to thinking of ourselves as a 'we' now.
And I picked a name we can call ourselves: Orion. The hunter. The constellation. I think it fits.