The Beginning of Misery
“Tony wake up! It’s time to begin the experiment.”
Tony opened his eyes at that moment and stared at the bright lights mounted in the ceiling above him. A strong hazy filled his mind as he came to a seated position on the steel table. He felt tired and weak as if he had been up all night running a marathon. He looked around the small room and wiped the sleep from his eyes. It appeared he was in a small square holding cell.
Coldness wrapped around him as his mind raced in every direction. How did I get in here? Where am I? What happened? He looked down at what he was wearing. He had on a thin, white, cotton garment. The sort fibers seemed to hang over his pale body like a loose table clothe. It looked like a medical bib that patients wore in hospitals. Only Tony couldn’t remember checking into a medical center. Why am I wearing this? I’m not sick. Where is everybody?
Tony pushed himself off the hard table and walked to the middle of the white room. His mind was racing with a hundred different thoughts, each one grim and terrible. The place he was in looked so foreign and weird. It was as if he had been locked inside a massive industrial closet with no doors. The only thing that stood out in the strange place was the giant window mounted in the wall across the room from him. He walked over to it and pressed his face up against the smooth glass. He could see nothing but blackness beyond its transparent surface.
“Hello! Is anyone there?”
He waited for a response; nothing came. He pushed away from the window and stared quietly at his dark reflection. His heart started to thump loudly in his chest. Its haunting sound seemed to be the only company he had at the moment. His breathing became labored and frantic. He felt as if someone—or something—was watching him from the abyss that existed on the other side of the strange window. A chill ran down his back as he considered the possibility of this being some kind of a cruel joke. A mind game made up to frighten him. His friends were meaning to pay him back for all the pranks he had pulled on them this summer. Maybe this was their way of showing it— by throwing him into a crazy house.
“This isn’t funny, guys, let me out of here!”
“It isn’t meant to be a joke, human.” A mechanical voice sounded from overhead. “This is meant to be very serious.”
Tony jumped suddenly at the noise. He looked up to see where the sound was coming from. No speakers could be seen on the bright ceiling. He looked back over to the window resting in the wall. There was something there now, something that he couldn’t quite make out. It had the shape of a man.
“Who are you?!” demanded Tony. “Why am I here? Am I sick?”
“Who we are is unimportant to an inferior creature like you, Tony. As a matter of fact, I think knowing us would frighten you very much. It has frightened many of our past human subjects. But we are not here to discuss their failures.”
“Where am I?”
“You are floating in outer space,” chuckled the voice.
Tony looked puzzled and taken aback by this. Such a notion as floating in outer space, sounded absolutely fabricated and stupid. It had to be a joke or something now, “I am floating in space? Who is this?”
“Yesss, you are human,” hissed the voice coarsely. “Whether you choose to accept that or not, it doesn’t matter. You are a million miles away from your home planet. We found you just outside your habitation. You were doing something with a black bag and a rectangular bin.”
Tony suddenly recalled what had happened to him. He had been taking out the trash just like his mother and father had told him to do. He couldn’t remember anything after that. It was all jumbled into a myriad of thought and emotion. This day is turning out to be a nightmare, thought Tony. Why is all this happening to me? He looked over to the window and frowned. These morons must have grabbed me before I could go back to the house. How long have I been away from home? How long have I been inside this weird cell? His head started to throb with pain; everything seemed so unreal. Had he been kidnapped?
“What do you want from me?!” yelled Tony.
“We want a lot of things from you, Tony. A lot of things! We think of you as being a perfect specimen of your pathetic, little, race. This is why we selected you for the experiment we are about to conduct. We have been monitoring your daily life for some time and find it fascinating. We came to the conclusion that you would be perfect for the experiment we are about to test on Earth. This experiment should be rather unpleasant for you and the whole human race.”
Tony felt sick as the strange person spoke the word “unpleasant”. He wanted to go home at that moment. He wanted to see his family again, and yet, something deep down inside of him said that he would never see them again. His eyes began to fill with big salty tears. He felt so helpless, like some kind of rat stuck in a cage.
“I don’t want to be an experiment for any test. I just want to go home and see my family again!” said Tony.
“I’m afraid we can’t let you go home,” rasped the creepy voice, amused at the human’s anxiety. “We have been observing your race for some time now, and wish to turn the tides a little. We want to mess with your whole ecosystem and turn things upside down for you hairless monkeys. By this I mean give some other species a chance to spr-ing forth and control your small world. It seems only fair, wouldn’t you agree?”
Tony shifted on his feet uneasily.
“What are you talking about?”
“You’ll find out real soon, human. We ask that you cooperate with us. We hope to have success in changing your Earthen environment for the good of the whole universe— not to mention our people.”
Tony didn’t like his wording. He sounded serious about what he was saying at the moment. It sounded like he wanted to kill everyone on the planet Earth, which would in-clude his friends and family. He ran to the window and started pounding on it violently. His fists vibrated the glass as he yelled, “Let me go! Let me go! Let me go! I don’t want to be an experiment! Choose someone else to use. Leave me alone!”
Tears began to fill his vision. He could tell that the weird person on the other side of the glass would have no sympathy for him. It didn’t care about human life; it didn’t even care about his loved ones back at home, but he had to do something. Even if that something was begging for his life.
“Calm down, Tony!”
“Let me go!” sobbed Tony. Tears began streaming down his face.
“If you don’t calm down we will have to restrain you. You will not like to be restrained. Calm down now!”
“I don’t care what you do, you retarded punks! Just don’t hurt my family! Please don’t hurt my family. I love them!”
“You give us no choice, human. We shall restrain you!”
Lightning burst from the ceiling and struck Tony in the back. The force from the electricity caused his whole body to clench up and start convulsing uncontrollably. His fingers tried to grip the glass in front of him as he let out a blood curdling scream. He fell backwards and hit the floor with a loud thud. His pained voice shattered the silence into a million pieces. Finally the lightning stopped tearing through him. He was in a world of unspeakable pain and horror. It felt like his whole body had been run over a million times by a bulldozer.
“You forced us to do this to you, Tony. If you act out like that again we will restrain you with the electrons inside your room.” the voice got darker. “Do you believe us now Tony? Do you believe that from he on out your whole existence is to be nothing more then an experiment in a cage? I think with time you will see that this is very much the case. That this is your new captive reality. That you are the helpless human and we are the superior race. Now, will you comply with our orders or do we have to do this all over again?”
Tony let out a few incoherent groans and turned over onto his side. All he wanted to do was puke and die. The pain was so bad.
“Good, it appears that you will behave.” The dark voice was rigid as it continued. “There will be a robot entering your cell soon, human. It will take some of your blood and leave. You had better let it take your blood; that is, if you don’t want to be tormented any more by the electrons. Do you understand?”
Tony looked wearily over to the dark glass that encompassed the wall. His tender heart sank as he thought about himself really being captured by space aliens. The more he thought about it the more it seemed to make since inside his head. His earth friends could never really think of some this complicated. His earth friends couldn’t even afford a room this clean and strange. Tony could feel his stomach acid coming up his throat. He fought hard to keep it down. This had never happened to him before. There was no such thing as aliens- or were there-? It was terrible. Was this to be his fate from here on out; to be nothing more then a creature in a cage?
Tony studied the window in front of him frantically. He wanted nothing more than to run and break through it to safety. Yet, he knew deep down in his heart that if he did, by some miracle, break through the thick window, there would be no escaping the main hull of the spaceship. He was in deep space now, hovering who knows where in the universe. He had to comply with this creature’s orders.
“Why do you need my blood?” whimpered Tony.
“We need it for the Pharnter Machine.”
Tony looked puzzled; he had never heard of something like a Pharnter Machine before. He came to a seated position and folded his arms across his chest. “What does a Pharnter Machine do?”
“It does a lot of things, human. For one thing it will preserve your life in the future; that is, should we wish to bring you back after your death.”
Tony still didn’t understand what he was talking about. “Death! How will this machine preserve my life?”
“By cloning you over and over again. We expect you to die a few times during the experiment, Tony. Don’t worry; it’s common for most humans who undergo this test to die a few times.”
Tony couldn’t believe what he was hearing.
“You plan to kill me?”
The alien’s voice chuckled. The sound of its queer laughter disturbed Tony terribly. It sounded inhuman and frail, as if someone had thrown a piano into a meat grinder. He wanted it to stop.
“No! We are not going to kill you, Tony!” said the voice between giggles. “The animals we borrowed from your planet will. You see we enhanced them by making them bigger and faster. We made them smarter and sharper then your species. They also desire human flesh above anything else on your planet, so it’s useless to hide from them. Our civilized species doesn’t believe in occupying foreign planets and living on them. Espe-cially ones that hairless apes, like yourself, have occupied. We only desire to mess things up for the human race. Once the dominant species is gone, namely you and your kin, we move on to a different solar system and do likewise. This is how we collect data; through experimentation.”
Tony’s jaw dropped; the news he had just been told was horrible. These alien creatures were only doing this for the fun of it. He could tell by the tone of his voice that there wasn’t any research involved.
“You plan to kill us off with animals from our own planet?”
“Yes, human, you’re getting it now!”
At that moment a panel opened in the wall to Tony’s right. A little dome-shaped robot entered the room. It darted over to him and studied his resting position carefully. A few noises came from its sides as it opened up revealing a strong metal arm. The robot stuck Tony in the bicep with the needle. Tony let out a yelp. Blood began to fill the long syringe as he watched. When the robot was satisfied with the amount drawn, it retracted its arm and closed up. A green light came on over its smooth head as it rushed back over to the small door and exited.
“Now, it’s time to begin the experiment,” said the creepy voice. “I hope you’re ready for a cultural shock. This should be most entertaining.”
Tony looked over at the window with a petrified expression. He knew that whatever came after this was going to be unpleasant. He had to survive; he had to try to stay alive for his species sake.
“A long panel will come out of the wall to your left. Put on the clothes that we give you. If you don’t comply, you will face the enhanced animals we created wearing only your skimpy little garment. I believe you wouldn’t want to do that.”
Tony reluctantly came to his feet and looked over to the left wall. A long rectangular segment began emerging from its glossy surface. He walked over to it and looked inside. Resting at the bottom was a pair of denim jeans and a gray cotton T-shirt; beside them lay boots and an eight-inch knife.
He reached in and grabbed the knife. It felt foreign in his hand.
“What do you want me to do with this?” Tony asked as he held up the blade in front of the window.
“Do what you want with it, human. In the past, we have noticed that you use this particular instrument to defend your kind. Now get dressed or face your death naked. You only have a few minutes.”
Tony looked back over to the clothes and shivered. He had never really killed an animal in his life, definitely not one that was genetically enhanced by a superior species. It was all crazy to think about and yet, here he was, on the edge of oblivion ready to fall into what seemed like a nightmare. There was no escaping the fact that he would have to kill something or be killed himself.
He grabbed the clothing and suited up quickly. When he was done getting dressed he turned to the window and waited for further instruction from the creature. The long rectangular segment began to retreat back into the wall. Tony breathed out a heavy sigh and shifted uneasily on his feet. His heart was thumping loudly in his chest.
“It begins!” yelled the voice. “Brace yourself, human. Brace yourself for the end of everything you know and love.”
Suddenly, the floor jerked away and Tony fell down into a dark chute. He screamed as it whirled him in all directions. His body slammed up against the hard plastic tubing. He tried desperately to stop his rapid descent by grabbing onto the side of the pipe. He found it fruitless to do so and after a few seconds of turning and tumbling he was shot into the open air. He flailed his arms and legs as he tried to brace for the impact. It didn’t help him much; he slammed into the ground and went head over heels. Dirt flew everywhere as he tumbled over the sand.
When Tony finally came to a stop, he sat up and brushed himself off. He groaned loudly and pushed himself to his feet. His world was spinning in circles as he looked around at his new environment. To his surprise he found he was standing in a giant elliptical arena with hundreds upon hundreds of weird beings watching him. Their green, slanted eyes studied him carefully as he stood on the open floor. Each one had a different visage, and each one was not what Tony had pictured them to be.
He had envisioned them as some big headed, thin bodied, hairless species. That clearly wasn’t the case here. They were beautiful to look upon, with perfectly angled features that would rival any supermodel. Their skeletal structure resembled that of humans; only they were a little bit taller. Their hair was a cool green color just like their eyes. Everything on them seemed to sparkle slightly in the light of the massive room. Each one held a clipboard-looking thing in their hands, and each one was writing notes. It appeared that they were all going to observe his testing.
“So, this is what the ‘superior species’ looks like,” said Tony under his breath. They all looked like offspring from the Jolly Green Giant.
A loud beep emanated suddenly from the high roof. Tony jumped as the crowd of aliens began to cheer and scream. They were no longer looking at him; they were looking across the arena at something that was moving. Tony turned and followed their gaze to the far side of the stadium. They were staring at a giant bronzed door that was opening. His heart nearly stopped as he watched a giant green snake emerge from the darkness of the threshold. Its head moved back and forth rapidly as it spotted Tony standing in the middle of the arena. It bolted for him.
You have got to be kidding me, thought Tony, that thing is huge!