Chapter 1- Disgust at First Sight
It’s been thirteen ‘days’, I think. I don’t even know what to call the passage of time anymore, since wherever I am doesn’t use a 24 hours cycle, but a 26-hour cycle. After a few days I thought I would use my knife to mark a wall in my cell to help me keep track. That’s how I found out that these walls, whatever they are made of, can’t be scratched by anything that I have. I’ve never even seen this material before, but it looks synthetic.
I’m on an alien ship, and that is all that I know. I’m fairly certain that they did not kidnap me as a sex slave. No, I see how they look at me. I am an animal to them, just like the other animals that are around me. Some of them are from Earth, and others are definitely not from Earth.
I think, given the potential for anything to happen, I’ll be all right being seen as an animal amongst these other animals. I scoff, as I start to bite my fingernail and then stop as I realize my hands are too dirty, and I shouldn’t. I don’t even look that different from some of the aliens I’ve seen!
It makes sense now, why they ignored the fits of anger and the screaming when I first woke up. My anger won’t keep me alive. My anger won’t save me, and neither will my fear. Those are primitive emotions, and I am in a situation where I need to stay calm and be smart.
My hair is caked in mud from crawling around on my stomach in the jungles of Brazil, but I can’t look that primitive...right? I tried to wash as much of the dirt off of myself as I could, but I only get two bowls of water a day, and I can’t be stupid with my water usage.
At least I don’t have to share a cell with any of the real animals. I run my gross hands through my dirty hair. I probably sound just like the aliens who abducted me when I think like that.
A positive of them seeing me as an animal is that they don’t even realize that when they stole me, I had my computer in my bag. This is good. This could save me, because I have my linguistics software on here. In the beginning, when I would scream at them and throw things against my cell, and they would yell at me. I assume they were telling me to be quiet or shut up. This is good, because my interpretation software can incorporate that into this language as well.
I’ve come to the conclusion that they must speak some type of standard or universal language. There are several alien species that I’ve seen, and they all have different accents when they talk amongst themselves. I might not be able to understand them yet, but I can hear the differences in how they speak.
I flinch as the chimps diagonally from me scream just as I did in the beginning, and if the aliens don’t understand me, how is that any different than me not understanding the chimps?
Damn whatever space gods are listening. I’m miserable, dirty, and I’m hungry. I only get fed twice a day, and after two days of starving myself, I had to give in and choke it down. I can’t look at it, but I know it’s a greyish color, and in the shape of a block. I plug my nose, chew with water and get it down.
Last night I had a break, which is my only good news. I found electronics, some are wires but some are what look like lasers in areas that I would expect other wires. Not sure if that is how information is passed? I was able to connect my computer up to the ships’ after days and days of trying so many ways.
I don’t expect to do anything useful like take over the ship and fly back home, because this isn’t a goddamn movie, and I have no idea what to do. I couldn’t even send out a distress signal. What would it say? ‘Please come find me, US government, I’m in another solar system...’ Actually, I would have better luck with Elon Musk being able to help...
I really just want my interpretation software to analyze anything it can find. Even if it’s something along the lines of an alien version of an encyclopedia. I want to know what they are saying, even if they won’t listen to me.
I sit on the small pallet in the corner that I was able to make from rags that were in here. I cradle my neck in my hands as my elbows rest on my knees as I try so hard to not feel hopeless.
Finally the lights dim, signaling the beginning of the ships night cycle. This is the time I do most of my work, trying to figure out how to communicate with anyone. But then again, I don’t know if they will listen, or if it will matter. I have about thirty words translated so far, but that’s not enough, and I’m hoping for more tonight.
A goddamn parrot has more than thirty words at their disposal. I live for puzzling out new words, which is one of the reasons I’m so good at my job. You don’t always have the proverbial Rosetta Stone, but I’m doing the best I can. My computer has been connected all day, hidden of course, so hopefully I will see what I can get tonight.
Sitting with my back to the wall so I can see outside, I start to take my computer out. But I don’t want anyone to see it.
None of the aliens have been abusive, but they aren’t exactly friendly either. I’m not sure if this is a spaceship version of a pirate ship, or if this represents all aliens who just take whatever they want. No wonder our government has tried to hide their existence. Fucking pricks.
I always knew aliens existed, and I love an excellent alien debate. But this version of aliens is killing my romanticized version of an intelligent species coming to Earth, communicating, and sharing information. I don’t like this version of reality that I’m in at all.
I look down at my computer and my heart races, as my breathing quickens. I see I have 143 words! I can work with this. I feel a new sense of determination, and I’m about to study them when I hear yelling coming down the hall, and what sounds like fighting.
I quickly stash everything away and crouch in the corner. Usually at night it’s only the sound of the other animals. Sometimes to the detriment of my sleep, because really, these non-Earth creatures make some crazy sounds. Is that xenophobic? Not sure, they just creep me out more than the Earth animals.
The shuffling and yelling stops in front of my cell, and I look up in horror as two of the aliens are in front of my cell, shoving a third alien in with me. Everyone is yelling at each other, and the one in my cell looks like he’s laughing at the two guards who are shoving him in and pointing clawed like fingers at him.
This is great. Probably a violent alien being shoved into a cell with me.
Let’s hope my theory about not being a sex slave holds up, because this ‘guy’ is enormous, and I hate being wrong. Especially about such a heavy topic of sex slavery. I practically have my own church, a member of one, which is dedicated to me always being right. This is not the time to learn my whole belief in myself is for nothing. Talk about a crisis of faith here.
He’s standing; his back to me, and all I can see is that his hair is white. Many of the aliens who have hair keep it longer. But him, he keeps his a bit shorter. For as much dissimilarity to humans that I have seen amongst the aliens: some have feathers, tails, exotic skin, and boring skin. I have also see so many little similarities to humans in almost all the aliens, though I haven’t seen this type before.
He has his hands in his hair, clearly frustrated, and turns so I can see his side. He has horns! They are dark, about two inches long and I’m gawking at them, as I look to I see the rest of him. His skin is a light blue color; I wonder if his planet has a star that doesn’t give off much UV radiation? The thought of figuring out why aliens evolved to look the way they do, and what their planet is like to cause specific physical characteristics is exciting. Something to think about after I keep myself safe, I remind myself.
I know how to fight a bit, but he’s huge, and I’m weak after so many days in here with not enough food, and my muscles not being used the way they should be.
He finally turns to look at me, his eyes look almost purple, but it’s hard to tell in this light. And I can see tracks of something under his skin. Metal? Wires? Is this an alien cyborg? Not sure how I feel about this, they weren’t that friendly in Star Trek, but I can see things under his skin, and that’s all I can think of. Then I look back at his face, and he seems disgusted by me. I’m definitely an animal to them all. I take a deep breath and sit down, my disappointment overtaking my curiosity. He looks like he’s trying to stay far away from me too. I guess he doesn’t want to spook the animal, right? Disgusted, I look away. I just want to be seen as a person, even when I know I should be thankful that none of them do.
After an hour of listening to him grumble and attack his hair and yes, his horns too, all while ignoring me, I can’t take it anymore. I want to know if I have things translated right. So I start simple, and hopefully in the Universal language.
“Hello,” I say into the speaker of my computer, so it will translate, as I look right at him. I would say that I got the desired effect, but I didn’t. It is better. He looks sharply at me, and almost fell over while doing a double take, obviously shocked.
That’s right, fucker, I can talk.
He says something in a hushed voice, trembling almost. But I don’t know what it is. His voice is soft but deep, and he doesn’t seem to have any of the accents I’ve heard so far.
I decide to pull my computer out so he can see it. It’s now or never. I look over at him, and his eyes go wide, looking from my face to my computer. He stands now, and walks right over to me, crouching. I don’t know if he’s going to take this from me, but I have to try.
Instead, he grabs my face and turns me to meet his gaze, his light purple eyes holding mine, and I can’t help but smile. I think he sees me, and the look of horror on his face as he realizes that I’m not an animal is priceless.
I turn back to my compute and start to speak into it again. “No one understands me. I’m building a translator. Help me? They keep me in here. I’m cold, hungry, and getting weak in here.” I speak English to my computer, it translates I think most the words, but I think it changed a few. I hit for it to talk the translated version, listening to how it is pronounced so that I can learn for myself. If this is my new reality, I’m not going half ass it.
I look at him while it translates. His eyes take me in anew, and he seems mad, but I don’t think it’s at me. He stands and goes to yell for someone. No one comes. No one ever comes when you scream. His fists are clenched at his side, muscles corded and his voice booms.
“It’s no good, they won’t come. I’m sorry if I bother you, but I’ve been in here for a while now. And I just need to try. They kidnapped me from my planet, and treat me like a slave or an animal. Are you one of them?” I say all at once into my translator. No point in breaking up my sentences, and have my computer translate it for him.
He rushes back down crouches on his knees next to me.
He’s vibrating with fury, and I see how his face is different from a human. There is enough similarity that I would call him exotically beautiful, though his face is marred by rage and he looks desperately at me. He acts as though seeing me in here is too much for him. He points at my computer; I’m excited that he wants to try. I hit the button and motion for him to speak.
“I would never do what they are doing,” the translation sounds flat, but the determination of his voice makes me believe him. But I’m not ready to hope yet.