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by thefourthalien 

Posted: 31 March 2003
Word Count: 1602
Summary: Short story in the 'twilight zone' style. This has already been optioned for publication with JumpNJupiter publications, USA.

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By Mark Torrender

I don’t like the feel of Their skin. But there’s nothing I can do, now; They’ve taken me.
For as long as I can remember, beings that could only be referred to as ‘alien’ have been in my life. It was nothing I asked for.
And it’s not just Their skin that gives me the creeps; it’s Their eyes. Everyone talks about those eyes, the way they stare right through you. They’re cold and … oh, what the hell, I have to use that word again, alien.
The only way I have kept sane is by telling myself, over and over, that They are scientists just like I am. Well, Their science is different than ours, incredibly so, and it seems as though it’s sole purpose is for the study of us. Sometimes I feel as though its sole purpose is for the study of me.
When I was younger, I was totally unaware of Them. I had heard things, of course, but never in my lifetime did I think I might actually one day interact with Them! Oh God, just the image of them, the eyes, the difference in height … I’ve got to get a grip.
My Boss at the lab was nearly as cold as the aliens. He was a tall individual who rarely smiled, and was of indeterminate age. His lab coat was immaculately clean, and he had to have every instrument and pipette clean as though new. By nature, I am immensely more laid back than he. Rub the Boss the wrong way and … well, they were days that did not bear thinking about. I was one of many who worked under him, and we all had to walk in his antiseptic footsteps, and keep the countertops clean enough to lick spilled water from, and, most importantly, not foul up the experiment of the moment. If he knew what I was going through now, the fear, the total out-of-placeness, it might just break him. Then again, it might just make him want to turn me into his next project!
Ughh! They’re hurting me! Those weird fingers are touching my body, my head. Probes are coming at me! They don’t even care that I am frightened! Damn those bright lights! I wish they were gone, dead, wiped out. Shit – can they read minds? I had better curb thoughts like that!
I want to know if They’ll put me back in my room when They’re done with me. They’ve been in my dreams up until now, but this is something new. I’ve been abducted for real, taken against my will. Where had I been only moments before?
Oh yes. The field. My Boss had engineered this little outing for me; the lab needed some new specimens, though I was only really keen on observing from afar. And so there I was, away from the lab and amongst all Nature’s glory. It was better than a day off!
Specimens. I was especially interested in insects, always had been. I had my box, and a little rod for the bugs to crawl up on to. By the end of the afternoon I had gathered six different species of arachnid, and five types of beetle. The spiders were all kept in different compartments, so as not to attack or eat each other, er, like last time. The Boss wasn’t too pleased with that particular specimen-gathering excursion
The box filled, I returned to the side of the road, at the spot where I was soon expecting one of my work colleagues to pick me up. He was late, as usual. He was like me in many ways, loved his work, hated the Boss. Ok, maybe ‘hate’ is too harsh a term, here. We … tolerated him. There, nice enough.
Anyway, he was like me in lots of ways, height, age, and disposition. Curiosity was our main trait. You needed curiosity in order to be a good scientist. I guess even the Boss was like that once. Now everything he did was of a predetermined, perfunctory action. Ah well. Somebody, somewhere, probably loved him.
Why is it that every time I think of my colleagues or my work or pretty much any damn thing, the Boss comes back into my mind! Is he really that intimidating? Or do I just want to do a good job for him? If that’s so, then I question my reasons behind it. Is my desire to do a good job for the sake of the work, or to please him? The only reason I might want to please old starched-breeches is to get him off my back. Ah! The big question has been answered.
Ok, so he preoccupies me. Maybe I’m even a little bit afraid of him. Especially so now that I’m not where I should be, and, if ever I’m returned, will have to lie as to what happened to me. Can you imagine what he would say if I got back to the lab and spilled forth the excuse, “Oh, sorry sir, I was out gathering specimens as per your instructions, when I was abducted by aliens!” It would be pretty much ‘chalk one up to insanity’. At least I wouldn’t have to wait for the guys in white coats – I work with them.
Several of Them are staring down at me now as I lay on the slab. Their faces are so cold! These aliens are so alike, like clones. Am I on some craft? Am I in one of their own labs?
Oh god, there are others here, others like me! I can see someone on an examination table, by the far wall. There’s someone else, near to an observation window. More of those cold, staring, horribly similar looking faces are peering through that glass.
Their hands are all over me. Ugh, that skin of theirs! It is not pleasant to the touch like ours, it’s … different. I don’t have the words to describe it, what to liken it to. I want to close my eyes but I can’t. Some part of me wants to see all that is happening. When will this be over?
Someone new has entered the room. Tall, severe – his demeanor reminds me of my own Boss. This one is dressed differently than the others, more colorful. Those eyes! I have got to be strong. Will it use its mind to communicate with me? None of the creatures in this room are saying anything, so there must be some thought transference going on here. If only I could make a study of this! But who would accept it?
The colorful one flows over to me. He’s taller than the rest, and bends at the waist to look at me. Is he using mind probe techniques? No, he’s just looking at me. This being is not at all shocked by my appearance; it is well used to abductees. Just another specimen on the table. Now I know how those insects must feel. When, or if, I am returned to earth, I will let those bugs go, and be more than happy to present and empty box to the Boss when I get back to the lab.
The colorful one is opening his mouth, and is uttering a strange language! I don’t understand it! Is it addressing me? No, it must be to his subordinates…
“You said you found this creature where?” the colonel asked the technician.
The tech cleared his throat. “Near the base, sir, incredibly. The men were out on morning maneuvers and just saw the little fellow walking in the field. It had a box. Apparently it was collecting specimens.”
“Or planting spy mechanisms,’ the colonel said dryly. ‘They’ve been coming to Earth for so long you’d think they’d learned everything there is to learn by now”
“Yes sir.”
“All right…” he squinted at the lab tech’s name badge, “Davis. Send this one down to Level Twenty Four.”
“Sir,” began Davis, somewhat timidly. “I thought that maybe, just this time, we could return the creature to where we found it.”
The colonel’s eyebrows shot up so fast that they nearly knocked his hat off. “What in blazes for, Davis?”
“The EBEs aren’t exactly friends with us, not the with military anyway, but they never make an attempt to rescue the ones that end up in these labs. I know these gray guys have the same cold, emotionless faces, but for all we know, this little chap might be terrified right now, terrified that he may never see his home again.”
The colonel laughed. “Have you been watching ‘E.T.’ or something?’ He shook his head. “You’ve just transferred here. Right?”
“Uh, yes, sir, from Wright Pat. How did you know, sir?”
“Because every new transfer thinks like you do. After a while you’ll see these invaders like the rest of us do. They’re specimens to be studied. And if we study them right, we may just be able to protect ourselves from them.”
“Yes, sir, I understand,’ conceded Davis, knowing well enough not to argue. It was good money here, and fascinating work. The last thing he wanted was to jeopardize his position, right after landing the best gig of his life. Besides, he’d just made a down payment on a boat.
The colonel left the lab, hands behind his back, thinking of cigars and football.
Davis turned his attention back to the little gray specimen gatherer who was strapped down on the examination table.
Davis smiled at the alien. “I bet you hate your boss, too.”

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Comments by other Members

Zing at 11:25 on 23 April 2003  Report this post
A different twist on the alien abduction story. It's a while since I've read any sci-fi / twilight zone type of fiction. I enjoyed this piece. Good luck!

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