They all looked the same. Was that racist? Was that speciest? Was that even a word?
Either they were all dressed the same, or they were all naked. It was hard to tell. Four limbs. Three where the human legs would be, and one where the human head would be. The lower limbs seemed to have spherical feet, almost as if they were wheels. The upper limb had a claw. Where a human chest would be, there was a rectangular block of flesh. It had two slits on either side, and a big yellow bead in the very centre.
"W-w-where am I?", Finn managed to stutter out.
"On another planet. Our planet," Following this, the one who spoke made a single noise that Finn could not understand. He presumed that they mentioned the name of the planet. "You come from a planet where the citizens call it the Earth", as if Finn did not know where he came from.
"How did I get here?"
"We brought you here"
"Okay... And why?"
"We wanted to see how you adapted to our planet"
"An invitation would have been nice", Finn snapped sarcastically.
"We did not wish to alert the leaders in your planet", said another being.
"Well, how did I get here? Is this some kind of a dream?"
"No, this is not some involuntary hallucinatory experience. You are physically here"
"How do you speak English?", Finn asked, suddenly curious.
"We learned your language. We learned many human languages. We have been watching you, after all"
"You have been watching me?"
"Yes, you in specific. But also, your planet"
"We have visited your planet before. Through teleportation. That is how we brought you here. Our science is far too advanced", said one of them proudly.
It was hard to differentiate, they all sounded the same. Their slits moved when they talked. The yellow bead was their eye that moved around to observe.
"We also have used our technology to observe any location on your planet at any time", the creature continued.
"So you have been spying on me. On my planet"
"Yes, I suppose you could call it that. We prefer observation"
"Couldn't you observe through a telescope?"
"Please follow us"
Finn was truly scared, but he knew he was on a foreign planet and had no option but to be obedient. So he followed. Three creatures came with him. Another led the way.
"Where exactly am I?"
"On our planet, but more specifically, in the hills you had been seeing in your previous journeys. We are in the hills. This tube will take us to our viewing deck. Please, hold. Step into the tube after the light turns green"
The first creature stepped in, and got shot up. Finn tried to extend his neck, but could not see where the tube led. The light next to the tube turned green. Finn, cautiously stepped in. Suddenly, he was moving up, but had no control over his motion. He felt a cool breeze pushing him up, and all of a sudden, he was on top of a hill. It was paved flat, and there were some telescope-looking objects attached to some weird technology. It looked like it was some computerized data with alphabets or numbers that Finn could not understand.
He followed the creature that had gone through the tube first.
"Please, look through this", he pointed to a specific telescope-like thing, with his upper limb.
Finn bent down, while the creature made adjustments. Suddenly, Finn saw a lot of forestry. It was all lush green, beautiful.
"Hold on for a moment. I am recreating this now, onto the viewing deck", as Finn heard some tapping in the background.
"What is this place? That I'm seeing? It's unreal"
"It is real. It is the Earth. Please, look here now"
As Finn looked away, he was blown away. The viewing deck he was on, was gone. The green sky was blue. The purple hills with white grass were now green hills with trees, and waterfalls.
"This is the Earth? Where?"
"WHAT", bellowed Finn, as he touched the leaves of these trees. "Is everyone dead? Where are the people? The buildings?", he asked in utter confusion. He could not see any civilization in the horizon.
"No, Finn. Humans are not yet existent"
Finn heard a heavy noise, but was not sure what it was. The next thing he saw made him leap. He quickly ducked right behind his alien companion.
"Oh, Christ!", he panicked, and shut his eyes. He was certain he was going to die. After all, he had come face to face with a dinosaur.
"It's alright, Finn. You're safe now". As Finn opened his eyes, he was back at the viewing deck.
"That was just a stimulated augmentation of the Earth's view to us right now. See, if we were to use telescopes, we would see Earth how it was around the time of dinosaurs. Time and light, science - it's all so strange. But with teleportation, we get the here and now".
"Which would explain why I spent quite a few minutes here, but only a few seconds had passed back on Earth?"
"Why did you pick me up right outside the bar, and then leave me there again? And who was that other human on the hills?"
"Picking you up from the bar was an error on our behalf. We pick you up each time, at around the same time on Earth. We did so again, but we did not factor in that you may not follow the exact same routine each night. We left you where we picked you immediately since we no longer wanted you to be there, since you made contact with another being. Which was not human, mind you"
Finn was confused. It looked human. It even waved back, and said something. Was it a creature from this planet.
The alien he was talking to continued, "What you saw was a creature from another planet. We did not want you to interact because creatures from that planet survive on flesh of other beings. It made a hunting call when it saw you. It did not run to you, as you did towards it. It flew towards you. It wanted to kill you, and eat you. We teleported you out just in time"
"You brought the creature here?"
"No. It came on its own accord. We did capture it, however"
"You aliens are a lot weirder than I imagined. No offence"
"I do not take offence to you calling us weird. I do take offence to you calling me an alien. You are on my planet. You are the alien"
Finn was speechless. He followed the creature of this planet in silence before he asked what he was constantly being bugged by.
"No particular reason"
"Well, you were more favourable. Seeing as you do not have any loved ones on the Earth, no one would have cared much if something had gone wrong and you had disappeared"
"I have friends", Finn frowned.
"Of course. My apologies. I forget that the humans of Earth value companionship and kinship"
"How am I able to breathe here?"
"We have oxygen too. We would not bring you here otherwise. Our sun is green, which is why the light is green. During the night, it is pitch black, like it is on the Earth. Our sun is good for you. You must have felt energized when you came here. It is better for you than your own Sun"
"Impressive. So you guys live in these hills?"
"Of course. We live here, we work here"
"How big is this planet? What about countries, cities?"
"The planet is almost as big as the Earth. We do not have countries and cities. We govern ourselves, we do not need leaders to pave the way for us. We work together", the creature said almost condescendingly.
Finn realized that no one would believe him once he got back to the Earth. He also remembered Cassie asking him for a picture.
"Do you think I could take a picture of this place?"
"Why not?", asked Finn, slightly upset. "You brought me here without my consent, but I cannot take a picture?"
"Finn, I need you to understand. The people of Earth are not nice. We observed the history of humans and we see what they are capable of. Humans enjoy having control over land that does not belong to them, and over other humans too. I would hate to see what they would do to aliens and other planets they could survive on"
"So why observe us? Why bring me here?"
"To eventually establish a relationship between the two planets"
"What is stopping you now?"
Although Finn was still unsure about the yellow bead being the eye of this creature, he was convinced that it thought Finn was stupid for asking that question. It stopped and turned to Finn.
"Everything you saw here right now. Don't you see? Our science is far superior to yours. We would love to help your planet, but this partnership would not end well for us. Your planet has not much to offer us. We see the portrayal of extra-terrestrial beings on Earth for entertainment. We will be wiped out and our science will be used for evil"
Finn knew that the creature was right.
"When will you establish first contact then? With the entire planet. Not just one individual"
"Do you want me to tell anyone?"
"Not at all"
"So is my work here done?"
"Far from it"
"So what next? For me? Are you bringing me back?"
"Of course. We intend to teach you our language. About our planet. The time here, the gravity. Everything"
"So when we make contact with your planet, you can vouch for us"
Finn was confused, but he knew asking more questions would not help.
"It is time for you to go back home"
"Okay? Yeah, uh, sure", Finn said, fully unsure. "Hey, what's your name? Or what are your people called?"
"You would not understand", and the creature opened its claw
Darkness. Finn was back in Cassie's living room. He was tired and excited. Confused, all the same, but he was oddly happy. Yellow lights, again. But this time, it was Cassie.
"Oh my God, Finn. Where were you?"
"It happened, again", he said with a slight grin on his face.
"What did?", asked a burly voice that appeared from behind Cassie.
It was a police officer.