A Nordic in a one piece white garment covering everything up to his neck rose up out of the floor. It just opened up for him. Not like a hatch which opened or anything, a hole just appeared, widened enough for him to rise through it, then closed underneath him so he could stand.
“Do you understand me?” It alarmed me that I could. What had changed? Did he put something into me? Could he have found the vial of black syrup? How I wished I could feel enough of my arm to discern whether the vial was still implanted there.
“It’s alright” the tall, burly figure continued. “Don’t push yourself if you’re not up to it. I deliberated over whether to inform you that your owners were killed when one of the invading saucers was shot down over their house. It crashed directly into it. They all died instantly, no doubt in my mind that it was painless.”
That was my cue to get choked up. He’d apparently sincerely confused me for the poor girl I’d vaporized back in the field. I slowly realized it was because of a combination of two factors. The first being that we were likely all genetically homogenous blue eyed blondes with alpine features, and the second being that we must look samey to them in the same way two chipmunks or crows look indistinguishable from one another to human eyes.
At least that’s what I hoped, and everything I’d seen and heard since waking up here seemed to bear it out. He approached me with a silver staff in his hand. It had only color and smaller size in common with the silver staffs I’d seen Tlalo and the others use however, appearing in all ways more sophisticated.
He waved it over my legs, and readouts appeared all over the walls, as well as in mid air. Not a hologram exactly as it was too solid and opaque, but something similar. “Your legs have been reconstructed successfully, of course. Every little part back where it was before this whole horrid mess began.”
There was kindness in his voice. Or something which convincingly resembled it. I began trying to say something only to catch myself, recalling that I was never to speak to them unless invited. He noticed, and urged me to come out with it.
“Wh…where….where am I…?” He looked concerned. “Your head wound didn’t look that severe to me. This is the lower Egregodan animal health center, in Shamballah. Perhaps you don’t remember as you were very small, but you were brought here as an infant to receive your immunity injections. I don’t recall who it was that administered them, but I do recall the faces of your owners. Lovely family, they were so excited to take you home.”
I began trying to piece together the history of the girl I’d killed in a fit of panic and selfish impulse to save my own life. The pain in my heart returned as I remembered her shocked face the split second before she disappeared in a muffled, malodorous flash.
“Of course there is no replacing such fine people. But I’ve identified another family known personally to me which has been looking to adopt a pet human. That will be the last thing on their minds after the attack, but eventually things will quiet down. Rebuilding will begin, then their minds will eventually return to the matter.”
I still could not bear the uncanny sound of their voices. Not his voice in particular as it was no more or less grating than any of the others I’ve heard speak before, but the closed in acoustic properties of the room did accentuate it somewhat.
The fact that he used the word “pet” did not escape my notice. I don’t know what I hoped when I saw the other humans out there in the field with their collars, but it wasn’t for this. Even if they were free range livestock or something, were I to join them I could’ve hidden in the woods and plotted eventual escape.
The days blew by, as the doctor (or veterinarian?) kept me doped up on something or other non-stop. I don’t know how it is that I was able to eliminate waste. I would feel the need to use the bathroom one moment, then somehow it would be removed from inside of me the next, though I felt nothing enter my body to extricate it.
This saved me from having to get up to use a restroom if they had such a thing in my size, but it also denied me the opportunity to sneak off and explore this facility. I’m not sure what that would have accomplished as I would undoubtedly have been captured soon after, I was just going stir crazy from being bedridden the past week or so.
How could it even be necessary? Surely they had the same power to rapidly heal me that Drena did. All I could figure is that they were testing me somehow. But one day, the doctor at last let me get up out of bed.
It was not, as I hoped, so that I could be released either into the wild or the custody of the family he told me about. They still had other concerns to deal with apparently. Instead I was deposited into one of the endless transparent enclosures.
Mine was relatively close to the ground level so I could still watch the doctor as he went about his business. I thought maybe by studying his movements and methodology I could learn something I might then use to escape.
No dice. When he spoke to the medical AI, it was in his own language. I wondered what it was like for him to speak English to me. Something like meowing back at a cat, if you knew enough about cats to make your meaning understood to them.
I was still nude, and painfully clean. I’ve never been so squeaky clean and sterile in all my life, it felt fucking unnatural. I’ve always been a habitually hygienic person, but there was still stuff like perfume, dirt under my nails, lipstick and some small amount of sweat inside my bra. It was the accumulated residue of human life that I now felt horribly naked without.
I couldn’t even smell myself. At first I thought I smelled some new, strange way. Like a hospital. Only after recalling where I knew the scent from I realized it was in fact the absence of my own natural body odor to which I’d become as accustomed as anybody.
There was a rustling from the far corner. I tensed up and scanned the transparent habitat for any signs of where the sound came from. Then, from beneath a pile of torn up bedding material, a scrawny teenage boy appeared.
He was every bit as blond and blue eyed as every other human I’d so far seen down here. I backed away, suddenly excruciatingly aware of my own nakedness. He approached, sniffing at the air, looking more curious than anything else.
Before I could warn him that I meant to defend myself against any unwanted advanced with violence if need be, I noticed he had no testicles. Not that I could see. Not even an empty scrotum, it had been removed. There was no scar of course.
Try as I might I couldn’t avoid glancing at his penis, if only to ensure it remained limp. “What’s your name?” I asked. He recoiled, taking a few steps backwards. The look in his eyes was of intense confusion and fear.
I asked again. Then again and again, until he at last said something in return. It wasn’t even cogent. If I had to guess, he was just clumsily trying to imitate what I said. Creeping unease took me as I realized the extent to which humans have been domesticated by these creatures.
Still, if I was going to be trapped in here with him for any length of time, I didn’t want to make him afraid of or hostile towards me. I knelt, then sit down, hoping that putting myself in a more vulnerable position would signal to him that I meant him no harm.
He did the same, sitting about ten feet away from me. Not doing anything even, just staring. I covered my breasts with one hand. He covered his chest with his own hand, and despite everything, I smiled.
He smiled as well, and after that I felt markedly less lonely. That’s nothing to sneeze at in a strange place, where you don’t know what’s going to happen to you. I named him Trevor, simply to have something to call him.
I quickly gave up on communicating to him what I meant for his name to be when, after poking him in the sternum and saying “Trevor”, he did the same back to me. This continued a short while until I became fed up with it.
It seemed like the first thing I could call a noticeable improvement to my life since pulling myself out of the saucer wreckage back in the field, until that night. I felt Trevor climbing into the makeshift bed I’d fashioned from the frayed fabric and paper bedding materials.
Stay Tuned for Part 32!