This Won’t Hurt a Bit
Evila bustled into her dorm room and shut the door quickly behind her. She was careful not to bump Tony into the wall as she stood in the corridor waiting. The smell of cooking meat caught hold of her senses as she stepped out into the living room and look-ed around. She could hear pots and pans rattling from inside the compact kitchen. Then it struck her—had her roommate gone out like she had promised or had she changed her mind and stayed home? She sat Tony down on the living room couch.
Evila walked over to the kitchen. “Fri’a is that you?”
The busy rattling in the kitchen stopped suddenly. The silver door slid open revealing a familiar face.
“Yeah! It’s me; who else would it be?”
Her tone was harsh as she spoke. Evila could tell that something bad had happened because Fri’a wasn’t smiling. Her roommate often cooked when things went awry, and she was usually the one left picking up the pieces of her shattered life. Fri’a was always having troubles, whether it was with men, school assignments, or just plain work. Disaster followed her practically everywhere.
“I thought you were going out with Niro tonight. What happened?”
Fri’a shrugged her shoulders. Tears began to come to her eyes. Evila could tell that she was searching for the right words to say how she felt.
“Niro has got to be the worst man I have ever met. He is a jerk. No! He is worse than a jerk, he’s a human pig; he’s a mass of Turit crap. He’s… he’s— ”
Evila cut her off. “Calm down Fri’a. Let’s just have a sit and talk about what happened. I am sure it wasn’t all that bad.”
“It was, Evi! It was.”
Evila walked over to the couch and sat beside Tony. The human’s face was still covered with the blue towel. Fri’a didn’t seem to notice or even care that there was another person in the room with them. She wanted to spill her guts at that moment and nothing was going to stop her.
“It was horrible. There I was getting ready for the date. I was all dressed and prettied up and then I get this communicator page, and it’s from Niro, and he asks me if we can reschedule, and I said yes, because I didn’t see any harm in it. So I just resche-duled, and… and… and…” She paused and stared off into space. Tears began to fill her big green eyes again. Evila could tell that she was thinking about the horrible moment.
“And then what?” asked Evila lightly. “What did he do?” She was trying to be as sensitive to her friend’s problem as possible.
Fri’a continued, “Then I decided to go to the café, and….” She broke down at that moment. Evila shook her head slowly; she was beginning to figure it out.
“You caught him there with another woman, didn’t you?”
Fri’a nodded her head as she sobbed. She felt like space garbage. “I guess I’m not pretty enough, for him. I guess he found someone better.”
Evila was feeling angry. She wanted to go down to the Solar Café and give Niro a piece of her highly advanced mind. She wanted to take that subhuman jerk and break him in half for the pain he had caused her friend. She came out of her violent thoughts and looked over at Fri’a. Evila stood up and walked across the room and hugged her. She ran her fingers through Fri’a’s hair and tried to calm her down.
“Oh Fi, I’m so sorry you had to see that. It must have been terrible for you. I can only imagine what you did when you saw them.”
Fri’a pulled away from her embrace and looked at her. Her eyes were distant and hollow, “That’s just it Evi, I didn’t do anything at all. He doesn’t even know that I know about it. I just left them there and came back home, and started cooking, and cooking, and cooking. That is until you came home.”
“It’s going to be all right Fi, you are a beautiful girl, any guy would be lucky to have you as his girlfriend.”
Fri’a wiped her eyes and smiled uneasily. “Thank you, Evila. I knew you would understand me.” She started to calm down. Evila smiled at her and let out a little laugh. Then she remembered that there was a human sitting on the couch behind her. She got suddenly stiff. In the heat of the moment she had forgotten to put Tony in her room. He would be discovered out in the open like this.
Evila thought bitterly to herself. Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!
“I see you found a man to be with Evi; it’s nice to see that you are getting into the playing field. What’s his name?”
Evila raised her eyebrows and looked behind her. Tony was still lying uncon-scious on the couch, “Oh, uh we are not dating. He is a, uh… just a friend.”
Fri’a chuckled loudly and leaned forward. “Just a friend?! You can’t fool me, Evi. You have never had a man over before. Come on, what’s his name?”
Evila felt trapped. She couldn’t just tell her roommate that she had stolen a human from the cloning lab and brought him to live in their dorm. She started to think of a name she could give Tony. Fri’a would give her a weird look if she gave the human’s real name. Humans weren’t the best at naming their mammal children; as a matter of fact, Evila didn’t like human names at all. They sounded stupid, like the names John and Jane. Oh yeah, that’s original.
“His name is ahh… Tone’i. He’s from the southern part of my home planet. He’s majoring in Advanced Genetics just like me. I guess we sort of hit it off.”
Evila felt sick. She had just lied to her roommate.
“Why does he have that medical towel on his head?” whispered Fri’a quietly. She didn’t want Evila’s new boyfriend to find out she was talking about him.
“Oh, ahh… we were out drinking and he got hammered, so you know….”
Fri’a shook her head. “No, I don’t know. What happened, what happened?”
She thought of something quick, and threw it out.
“He passed out and hit his head on the corner of the bar”
Fri’a flinched as she said this. “Ouch! Sounds painful. Can I see?”
Evila stood up and shook her head. That was a bad idea! “No, I’m not sure he would approve. Probably best to let him sleep!”
Fri’a ignored her protest and rushed past her. She walked over to Tony and started poking him in the chest. The human groaned a bit as she did this. “Come on, tough guy, take off the towel and speak to us. I want to hear the story of how you and Evi met. Stop sleeping!”
Evila ran up behind her and grabbed her shoulders. She pulled her back.
“I think he would like to rest, Fi.”
“Okay, you win, Evi.” She paused for a moment, then lunged forward quickly. “But first let me see that head injury. I bet it looks wicked!”
Evila’s hearts stopped as Fri’a reached for the towel and gripped it. She was about to pull it away when there came a loud beep from the kitchen. Both girl screamed as the unexpected noise tore through the flat. It was the fire alarm. Something was burning. It was coming from inside the kitchen.
“Just great!” yelled Fri’a, “my muffins!”
She turned away from Tony and darted to the kitchen. Huge puffs of black smoke poured into the room as she opened the silver door and ran in. Evila was alone in the room with Tony again. Now’s my chance to get him to my room without further protest! She grabbed the human and threw him onto her back. When he was secured she walked across the meeting room to her silver door. She opened it and ran inside.
“I’ll put you here for now,” said Evila as she dropped Tony onto her bed. The chrome colored sheets crinkled loudly as he landed on the matrices. The blue towel fell off his face and onto the dark floor. Tony’s eyes were still closed; he appeared to be in deep R.E.M. sleep; most likely sorting out the activities of his previous life. It certainly was weird how the human brain worked.
Evila had taken a course on the brain activities of humans. Tony appeared to be processing a lot of information right now. At that moment, Evila had sympathy for him; the creature had been through so much. Poor thing, taken from his home and forced to be an experiment, I can only imagine what that must feel like.
She was pulled from her thoughts when Fri’a called out to her from the kitchen, “Evila! Could you grab the fire bacer from off the wall; this things getting a little out of hand! We’re going to need something to settle it!”
Evila ran to her bedroom wall and grabbed the fire bacer. She turned and watched Tony’s dreaming face for a bit, before running to her roommate. The bedroom door closed firmly behind her as she went.
* * *
In the back of his mind Tony could feel the snake’s stomach acid burning his flesh as he passed through its G. I. track. The smell of decaying meat wafted up into his nose and caused him to gag and choke. He couldn’t believe he was actually being eaten alive. He tried to scream and yell for help but nothing came out. The air was too thin to even make a sound. He had to face it; he was going to die this way. Alone and in a dark place. He would never see his family again; he would never walk through the halls of his college again. He would never see the light of another day.
Tony winced as more digestive fluid poured onto his trembling body. It began to sizzle as it dissolved slowly through his clothes. Tony gritted his teeth as it reached his skin; he sat up suddenly and screamed.
“Nooooo! Get it off me!”
Tony opened his eyes quickly and gripped his stomach. His heart was pounding in his throat at a hundred miles per hour. He was no longer in the belly of the snake, but in a room; a dark room. He looked around frantically. Was it all just a horrible dream? It felt so real. He looked down at his shivering body. He couldn’t find any damages from the pungent stomach acid. He was completely intact.
The snake seemed so real and alive, thought Tony. He looked down at his chest. What am I wearing? Professor Denvil’s clothes seemed to droop off of his appendages like an oversized towel on a clothesline. Tony shifted on Evila’s hard bed and came to his feet. He looked around the room at all the interesting gizmos and gadgets that lined the walls and ceiling. The place felt like an expensive hotel room. It was not like the one he had previously been in. He turned and looked over at a big stainless steel desk resting in the corner. On top of it lay heaps of papers and vials.
Where am I?
Tony turned away from the desk and looked behind him. He was amazed to see that there was an actual window in the room. Tons of stars were shining from beyond its thick glassy surface. He walked over to it and gazed down at the grandeur of space. The ship was hovering by a very large planet. Tony studied its yellow and orange rings. The thing looked like an oversized Jupiter.
“Amazing!” whispered Tony under his breath.
He put his hand on the glass. He had never really seen another planet so close up before. It was as if he were walking in a dream. Tony turned away from the window and looked over at the silver door. He could hear talking coming from it. He walked over to the threshold and pressed his ear up against the steel.
It sounded like there were two people chatting with each other. He couldn’t make out the funny language they were speaking. It sounded foreign and weird, like Chinese or something. Tony pushed away from the door and studied its weird texture for a bit. The thing didn’t have a doorknob. He scratched his head as he tried to figure out how to open the darn thing. It seemed complicated.
Tony was about to kick the silver plated door in when it slid open. A tall, dark silhouette stood in the doorway. Its bright green eyes looked over at him. Tony stepped back into the middle of the room and held a hand over his forehead. The sudden presents of the person startled him. It looked like a woman.
“Sit down, Tony!” commanded the silhouette.
Tony detected a foreign accent in her voice as she spoke. He walked over to the bed and sat down. The silhouette stepped into the room and shut the door. It paced back and forth. Its voice seemed to hang in the air as it spoke rapidly to itself.
Tony waited patiently for a minute. He finally got bored and spoke up. “Look, I’m sorry about all of this. I didn’t mean to come into your room here. I was put here by someone, I think. Maybe you can help me out. I have been abducted by—”
The lights came on at that moment, revealing everything. Tony paused and clenched his jaw tightly. His heart started pounding in his chest again. He looked at the beautiful alien girl standing before him. Her expression was very serious and firm. He felt as if she were dissecting him with her green eyes.
“How long have you been up?”
Tony was amazed that the thing spoke English. He shrugged his shoulders. “I don’t know, maybe five minutes?”
The alien girl nodded her head and walked over to the desk. Her slender hands worked quickly to prepare a few things. After a minute or two she pulled out a steel chair and brought it to the middle of the room. Tony watched as she sat down on it and crossed her legs. She looked just like a normal girl… only, she was light green.
“I’m sorry. I don’t know what’s going on.” Stuttered Tony, “Can I go home?”
The alien girl stared at him for a minute. She looked pensive.
“No, you can’t go home. I need you right now. You are going to help me prove a very important theory; a theory that my people have been working on for a long time. I feel that I have found the answer to our problems and I need a human.”
Tony was confused; everyone seemed to know who he was.
“How do you know my name?”
“That’s not important…”
Tony cut in at that moment. “Well, tell me your name then, so that we can know each other. I am sick of being pushed around.”
The alien girl looked a bit taken aback by this, as if his forwardness had caught her off guard. She thought for a moment then spoke up.
“My name is Evila.”
Tony smiled at the exotic name. It sounded like something from Spain. He reached out his hand in a shaking fashion.
“Hi, Evila, I am Tony.”
Evila wasn’t frightened at the gesture. She knew that humans often communicated with their hands when greeting each other for the first time. She reached out for it and gripped it, not anticipating the human’s weakness. Tony let out a yelp and pulled his hand back before Evila could crush his metacarpals into dust. He looked at her with surprise. He had never met a woman so strong before.
Evila smiled lightly. “I have been studying your culture for some time now, and I have never really observed a cry like that. Is it part of the hand ritual you humans engage in? Should I have cried out like you?”
Tony was puzzled for a minute. Then he shook his head and started laughing. Evila thought his cry was part of the handshake.
“No, you’re not supposed to cry out like that. It’s just that you’re really strong and I wasn’t ready for it. So I cried out.”
Evila held a hand up to her mouth, and blushed. She felt silly, “Oh! I am sorry. Would you like to try again? I could do better next time. I could shake lightly.”
Tony quickly shook his head. He was through with shaking hands with this woman. He want to move on to something else, “No, that won’t be necessary. Just one handshake per meeting, that’s how it goes.”
Evila looked disappointed and a little sad. She really wanted to get it right the first time. She wasn’t use to failing at something the first time. I mean, here she was, one of the most knowledgeable people in the academy about human culture, and she couldn’t even get a basic handshake down.
“Okay, we don’t have to do it again.” She paused for a bit. “Would you like to know how we shake hands?”
Tony looked uneasy at this. “Does it involve pain in any way?”
Evila laughed a little.
“No, but it will be interesting for you!”
She scooted her chair closer so that she was knee to knee with him. Her bright green eyes seemed to get soft and friendly. Tony began to feel a little awkward as she got more comfortable with him. It felt strange being this close to an alien woman. Tony had never really been this close to an alien before, especially a really good looking one like Evila. His mouth was getting dry now and his heart was racing.
“My race does this greeting only on special occasions. Usually once every solar year, when the atomic clock on our main planet is just right. It brings good luck to you and your friends for the rest of the next millennium. I have never done it to a human, but I think it only fair to show you, seeing is how I messed up your Earth greeting.”
Tony was amazed at the information she was giving him.
“You guys live for a thousand years?” He looked surprised.
Evila smiled at Tony’s surprised look. He looked almost cute when he was shock-ed about something so little. She had forgotten that humans only live for a few decades, so of course her longevity would be amazing to him. Their people lived longer than any other species in the galaxy.
“Yes, Tone’i we do.”
Tony was confused at the word she had just used. “What did you say?”
Evila’s face lit up with shock. She had called Tony by the name she had given him. Why did I do that? That was so stupid of me.
“Oh, that doesn’t mean anything, Tony. It’s just a word. Here, let me show you how to do the millennial greeting. Here, sit up straight, try and relax your mind and you muscles! Every living creatures emits a frequency.”
She reached out and gripped his hands with her hands, being careful not to crunch his bones in the process. She looked into his plain brown eyes with delight. Out of all the creatures she had studied, humans had to have the best eyes, only because they came in different colors. She wished her species could have a different colored eyes; besides the boring neon green that encompassed their pupils.
“I want you to put your index fingers and middle fingers against my temples and leave them there.”
Tony listened carefully and placed his fingers against her smooth skin. Locks of green sparkling hair fell over the back of his hands as she bowed her head slightly. She lifted her fingers and placed them lightly on Tony’s temples.
“Now close your eyes.”
Tony reluctantly closed his eyes and waited. For a while nothing was said. Then Evila started chanting something under her breath. Tony couldn’t quite hear what it was. It sounded like the language from before, only there was a melody with it. It started out low then gradually got loud. As it got louder thoughts and impressions started racing to his mind. The thoughts were of his home on Earth, and his family. Pleasant memories that were once forgotten were now relived in the twinkling of an eye. He saw himself at school with his friends. He saw himself with his grandfather before he passed away. He saw himself around the Christmas tree, talking to his family. He saw it all, and longed to be in each one again. He felt at peace.
A voice spoke inside of his mind now. It was Evila beautiful voice. She was telling him to be calm. She was telling him to sleep and rest. He felt like everything was going to be okay. He felt good.
Evila let go of Tony’s head and watched as he went unconscious. He fell backwards onto her bed and started mumbling to himself.
“I’m sorry I had to trick you, Tony, but I didn’t want you to be awake when I inject the catalyst into your system. The formula I made won’t hold if I don’t inject the catalyst first.”
Evila frowned; she had delved into all the human’s precious memories and had found something strange; she had found something she hadn’t anticipated. She had found that the humans were just like them when it came to being social culture. They wanted to belong, they wanted to have purpose, and they wanted to be loved.
Just like them.
“It looks like professor Denvil was wrong about you. You’re more than just animals, you’re like us. You’re like us.”
Evila suppressed the tender feelings welling up inside of her hearts. She stood up and walked over to her desk. She pulled out two syringes and filled one with the catalyst, and the other with the formula she had made from her own blood. It looked like quick-silver as it entered the syringe’s tubing.
“This won’t hurt a bit, Tone’i, consider it a gift. I’m giving you my own blood to prove this theory.”
Evila walked over to the sleeping human and ripped open his shirt, revealing his bare chest. She felt around the rib cage for a second as she tried to remember the human anatomy. The last thing she wanted to do was inject the formula into his lungs. Tony let out a groan as she stuck the needle with the catalyst in it directly into his heart. Once the fluid was inside him she pulled it out and grabbed the one with the formula in it.
“Here we go, test number one,” she whispered as she pushed the second needle into his racing heart. Her blood spilled into his system rapidly. When it was dispensed she pulled out the syringe and stood up.
She watched his vital signs closely. Something began to happen to him. The area around his chest began to get gradually darker. It was turning green.
“It’s working! I have done it!” exclaimed Evila.