Tony’s head was killing him! It felt like someone was pounding the inside of his green skull with a jackhammer. Evila had thrown him pretty hard against the bedroom wall. It felt as if an invisible train had rushed into the room and collided with his chest, completely knocking the wind out of him.
It’s amazing how strong the alien women are on this ship, thought Tony. Why did Evila throw me like that? I thought she wanted to tell me something important? I guess I just have to get used to these weird alien customs. Maybe in their culture throwing people is a sign of affection? Well, at least I hope so, because Evila looked so happy before her roommate came in. What were those two arguing about, anyway?
Tony opened his eyes slowly and stared at the stainless steel table resting in front of him. The bright light from the ceiling reflected dolefully off its scratchy surface and assaulted his dark pupils. He groaned slightly and shifted his gaze to the far end of the room. A silver door was resting in the wall completely opposite his position. It had some funny writing on its glossy surface. Tony couldn’t make out the words; they looked weird and foreign, as a matter-of-fact, everything around him looked weird and foreign. This whole day was turning out to be just plain out there.
“Oh, great!” said Tony despairingly. “Another experimenting room. I wonder what they are going to throw at me this time.”
He could feel a bitter sickness encompass his stomach as he thought about the green snake from his vivid dream. It seemed every time he got knocked out he woke up in a new place. It was beginning to get a little annoying. He wanted to be stationary for at least a few hours before being hauled off to another strange place on the ship. Tony tried to lift a hand and rub his throbbing temples but found he couldn’t. His arms were caught on something hard. He looked down at the weird metal chair he was sitting in. It was holding him in place with electrical bonds. They were gripping his broad chest and legs. He couldn’t leave his seat.
Why am I here? What’s the purpose of this testing?
Tony looked up at the door. “Hello, is anyone there? Evila, are you there? Is this another weird thing that I need to learn before you can tell me the important thing you wanted to tell me? Is that it? Evila!?”
Silence filled the small room again. The only sound that could be heard was the hum of electricity running through the lights. Tony began wiggling violently in his seat, he couldn’t get free at all. He was going to call out again, when the silver door slid open revealing a very big alien guy. He was holding a smoking cigar in one hand and a metal box in the other. His neon green eyes looked like two pools of intelligence. Tony could tell that he was a man that knew the ins and outs of his job. He watched breathlessly as the man stepped into the room and shut the door behind him.
“Where am I and where’s Evila?” asked Tony.
The big alien guy ignored the question. He walked over to the steel table and rested the metal box on top of it. He took off his brown suit coat and placed it on the back of the silver chair across from Tony. When he was done setting everything up, he sat down and took a long drag from the cigar. He blew the gray smoke into the air around the table. It swirled in all directions as it rose to the ceiling. It was disgusting. Tony started coughing as the pungent smoke filled his nostrils. It smelled like someone was burning old gym socks. The odor was nasty.
“Do you know why you’re here, Tone’i?” asked the detective in a deep voice. “Do you know why we arrested you?”
Tony blinked his watering eyes and shook his head. He felt like someone was blowing smoke down his throat, “No, not really. Where am I, and who are you? Is Evila here, can I speak to her? I have to ask her a very important question.”
The alien started laughing softly, as if there was a hidden joke behind Tony’s desperate words. Tony wanted to cover his ears at the sound he was making. The aliens that had abducted him were beautiful in all things except their obnoxious laughter. I guess a superior race can’t be perfect in every aspect of life.
“My name is detective Cuffers. I’m the head of the space officers department here at the academy, otherwise known as S.O.D. You, Tone’i, are in my custody for helping your girlfriend, Evila, take a human from the cloning lab. I am going to ask you some questions and I ask that you give me the true answers.”
Tony looked puzzled. “What are you talking about? Evila is not my… uh girlfriend… she’s just a….”
Tony paused and blushed. He thought about Evila and him being together as a couple. The idea wasn’t so bad; as a matter of fact it felt right in some weird way. It felt like he and the lovely Evila were supposed to be together. It felt like he was missing something and Evila was the only person who could complete him. He looked quickly down at his chest; his hearts were acting up again. Why are they doing that? Why are they acting so weird?
Tony looked over to the detective, “Where is Evila? Can I speak to her? There’s something going on inside of me that only she can explain!”
Detective Cuffers lifted a green eyebrow; the boy was obviously infatuated with the academy student they had hauled off. It showed in every little thing he did. It showed in his shifting eyes. It showed in his fidgeting body language, and most of all it showed on the background test they had run on him before he had awakened.
Cuffers couldn’t sense any true anxiety in him for the crime he had just committed. It was as if the idiot didn’t care how much trouble he was in at the current moment; his only concern was talking to Evila. Maybe that’s why he helped her steal the human from the cloning lab. It would make for a perfect motive for the report. Often, love smitten partners would do crazy things to prove their devotion to their one and only soul mate. Maybe Tone’i was doing it for Evila because he loved her; and then again, maybe she manipulated him into helping her.
Or maybe, thought the detective suddenly, Tone’i was just plain innocent in the whole matter. They had never really seen him on the security tapes that were taken from the cloning lab. Nor did they see him on the tapes taken from the elevator or the hallway. It was Evila and the human the whole time. The true questions in this cumbersome matter were: who the heck is Tone’i, and where is the human, Tony Blair? There aren’t a whole lot of places one could hide a hairless monkey on the ship. Maybe in the garbage shoot, or the—
“Is she here? Evila?” asked Tony quickly.
Detective Cuffers came out of his deep thoughts. He looked over to Tone’i. “No, she is not here, and no, you can’t speak to her. The both of you are in a heap of trouble. Do you understand that? You might never see each other again!”
Tony froze at the horrible words. He looked absolutely concerned, as if he had lost something very important to him. Detective Cuffers rolled his eyes at the mindless expression. He didn’t have time to answer the pretty boy’s social request to see his girl-friend. He wanted to pry the truth from this hormonal head and prosecute him for his crimes; that is, if he has done anything.
“What have we done wrong? I’m still new to this alien world and don’t quite understand the dos and don’ts of everything yet. Maybe if you told me I could undo what was done, or at least try.”
The detective shifted in his seat. He thought about the way Tone’i had answered the question. The boy was sounding completely crazy now, acting like he didn’t know their ways of living. Every Tenati person knew the rules of their society. They all learned it at birth. He cleared his throat and continued his inquisition. “How did you get on this space ship, Tone’i? This is one of the most prestigious space academies in the galaxy. It takes a Tenati man years of testing to qualify for the acceptance list. Dean Redder only accepts the best and brightest of our race, and yet, I didn’t see your record on the main-frame of the computer. We tried to pull you up several times and found nothing on you. No pictures, no DNA samples, no retinal prints. You don’t exist to us. Why?”
Tony was surprised at the new information given him by the detective. “This is a space academy? You mean like a school or a college where people go to learn? Wow, I had no idea. I can see why I was tested so extensively by you people. I must have been like a frog on a table for you guys.”
“Don’t play cute with me, Tone’i. I’m not in the mood for games. How did you get on this ship? Did Evila smuggle you in here? Did she get you to do her underground work?” asked Cuffers rigidly. Tony could tell the detective was getting angry. He thought about the question for a minute. He finally shrugged his shoulders.
“To be honest with you, I really don’t know. I was taking out the garbage and woke up in this horrible spaceship. I think Evila could have taken me from my home planet, although I am not sure. Can I speak to her please; maybe she could answer the questions better than me?”
The detective let out a sigh and leaned forward a little in his chair. He put his elbow on the table and rested his chin in his hand. It was obvious he was going to have a tough time extracting information from Tone’i. The kid was a complete crack pot. What was he saying? That he was from another planet? Evila certainly picked a winner to be her soulmate, thought the Detective. The guy seems utterly clueless about what’s going on in the real world. He hated getting information from crazy people; it was always so frustrating and hard.
“First off Tone’i, let me make something really clear. NO, YOU CAN’T SPEAK TO EVILA, SO STOP ASKING ME THAT! It’s getting annoying every time you ask me. Second, I don’t believe you came from a planet other than our home ones in the Tenatian galaxy. Look at yourself, man, have some dignity! You’re a Tenatian, not a moon man from another world. Be normal with me for a second! I want to make this as quick and painless as possible! I want to go back to my flat and call it a night!” said Cuffers firmly as he balled his hand into a fist. Tony leaned back in his chair and gripped the steel armrests tightly. The detective was getting a little more impatient with him, but it was completely understandable. He was being evasive and, no doubt from the detective’s perspective, a little crazy sounding.
“Sorry… I didn’t mean to… It’s just I… I was abducted by someone and I don’t know who, I don’t know when, all I know is that I have been through a lot today what with the changes to my—”
The detective cut him off quickly.
“So what you’re telling me is, you were kidnapped and placed in this ship by Evila? Is that what you’re saying? That she did this to you?”
Tony nodded his head yes, then he quickly shook it no, then he stopped shaking his head and stared at the far wall of the room. His mind was racing with so many questions and concerns. He wanted to go home, he wanted to talk to Evila, he wanted everything to work out, and yet, he knew it was going to take more than a diplomatic conversation to solve this problem. He was in deep.
“I don’t buy the whole confusion act you’re putting on right now, Mr. Tone’i. It would be impossible for anyone to be kidnapped and placed on this ship without S.O.D knowing about it first. We screen everyone and everything that enters this school; right down to the food packages in the main hull. If it doesn’t belong in here, we throw it out immediately. And you don’t belong here, Tone’i! Do you know what that means for you? Do you?”
Tony’s eyes got wide as apprehension set in. “What?! Are you planning to throw me out into open space? You can’t!”
The detective laughed suddenly. That was one of the most absurd things he had ever heard anyone speak. “Believe me, Tone’i, there isn’t anything in this galaxy I would love more than to throw you out into deep space. What I mean is that if you don’t start answering my questions properly, I’m going to send you back to our home planet and let them prosecute you there. And believe me; you don’t want to end up on the prison planet of Farneer. They will eat a ‘pretty boy’ like you alive. I have seen it happen in my line of work, ‘pretty boys’ go in and come out completely wasted!”
Tony looked uneasy as this was said. He certainly didn’t want to go to the Tenati prison planet all by himself, and he certainly didn’t want to go to jail. He had heard horrible stories from his earth friends about what happens in jails. How they beat and rape and kill people. He could only imagine the terrible things they could do to him on an alien planet. He shuddered at the image.
“Please don’t do that to me! I’m trying to answer your questions truthfully! I really am, it’s just I don’t know too much about what’s going on! I’m new at being a different species. I am new!”
Cuffers smiled at his distress. Tone’i was still acting crazy but at least he was making progress. He cleared his throat. “Okay, Tone’i, I’m going to give you a chance to redeem yourself. I don’t want to see you destroyed by our cruel justice system. I am go-ing to ask you a few questions and you are going to stick your hand in this metal box and answer my questions.”
The detective reached out and grabbed the shiny metal box he had brought into the room. He slid it over to Tony. Tony studied the interesting contraption resting before him. It had two light bubbles on the top of it; there was a green one and a red one. They were both off. The side that was facing him had a round hole big enough for a man to put his fist through. It looked pretty basic.
Tony looked over to the detective. “What is this?”
“That is a Ewyu machine. It detects lies, and collects mental data from the one using it. I want you to put your hand in it and answer the questions I ask you. Can you do that, or is that too complicated for you?”
Tony shook his head. He knew the detective was getting sarcastic with him and he ignored the rudeness. “No, it doesn’t sound complicated. I think I understand.”
“Great,” said the detective passively. He reached down and pushed a button under the table. Immediately Tony’s right arm was freed from the electrical bonds. He lifted it up and placed his hand reluctantly in the metal box. As soon as his hand was in the box a loud beep was heard and an unseen force wrapped tightly around his wrist. Tony tried to pull back but found he couldn’t. It was as if the machine was glued to the table with his hand in it. He looked over to the detective.
“What’s going on, why can’t I move my hand?”
“Don’t worry, boy. It’s all being held in place by the electro magnet inside the Ewyu machine. Your blood, like all Tenatian blood, is rich in a liquid metal alloy called Bulyon. Which reacts very well with high powered magnetism. If I had a big enough magnetic field I could freeze you in place for a thousand years, but that will come later. For right now I’m going to ask you a few questions and if you don’t answer these questions properly then you’re going to get a nasty shock. Am I understood?”
Tony looked horrified. He gazed down at the machine that held his arm in place. He tried again to pull his hand out of the steel box but found that it was impossible. It felt as if he had put his fist into quick-dry cement.
“Am I understood, Mr. Tone’i?” asked the detective again, this time a little more impatiently. Tony looked over to him and nodded his head. “Yes, sir!”
The detective lifted up his cigar and took a long hard drag. When he was done he blew a smoke ring into the air and studied the machine with squinted eyes. He smiled really big. “Okay, to start out, I’m going to ask you some simple questions, and then as we go along I’m going to ask you some harder ones. Do you understand?”
The detective cleared his throat. “Good! The first question I have for you is a simple one. What color is your skin?”
Tony looked down at his body. He looked back up and grinned slightly; he knew the answer to this question. It was obvious, “It’s green… well kind of a dark green, but you get the point!”
A bell was heard from inside the metal device. The green light flashed brightly on top of the panel, and the detective smiled his approval. Tony had answered the question correctly. Maybe this won’t be so bad, thought Cuffers, he seems to be cooperating just fine. He leaned forward a bit.
“Very good, Tone’i. Now I’m going to ask you a slightly harder question. What is the Generating Matrix of a Photon Engine?”
Tony’s jaw dropped. He had no idea what Cuffers had just said to him, it sounded like science talk. He hated science talk, “I don’t know that… what the heck is a Photon Engine? What are you talking about?”
Tony jumped as the machine made a buzzing sound again. A piece of white construction paper sprang out of the back side of the device. The detective leaned over and quickly grabbed it. Tony watched as he read the writing on the card. His face lit up a little with surprise.
“What’s wrong? What does it say?” asked Tony after a while.
The detective turned and shrugged his shoulders. “It says you truly don’t know the answer, which is amazing to me. Usually they teach the Generator Matrix of a Photon Engine in grade school. It goes along with the abstract mathematics that children learn in their homes. Every kid in our race knows this question, but it says you don’t. Were you ever properly schooled? Are you uneducated?”
Tony frowned. He didn’t like where this was going. How should he know what the answer to the weird matrix question was? He had only been a Tenati man for a few hours. It didn’t make him a genius.
“Well, I would like to think I was educated. I did go through high school, but I don’t think we ever got into something so complicated as what you just said; maybe I will learn it in a college or a university? I don’t know!”
The machine made another weird noise and a piece of paper sprang out of the back. The detective kept his incredulous eyes focused on Tony as he reached over and grabbed the paper. He read it quickly.
Tony could tell that he was becoming more and more confused at the data being taken from his head. “What does that say?”
Detective Cuffers lifted his hand and took a puff of his cigar. “It says you were educated, but your I.Q. is only at 115. How ever did you pass grade school with an I.Q. like that? You’re practically a Mongoloid!”
Tony didn’t know what the word ‘mongoloid’ meant, but it sounded absolutely antagonistic, and he hated it when people thought he was stupid. “Well of course I’m going to appear less smarter than you guys. I have only been a Tenati man for an hour or so. Give me a break. I’m not a genius!”
The machine made another sound, and yet another piece of paper sprang from the back of the steel contraption. Detective Cuffers grabbed for it. He read it, and nearly fell off his seat. After a second of amazement he looked over to Tony. His eyes were frantic.
“What does it say?” asked Tony, pressingly.
“It says you’re… telling the truth… that you have only been a Tenati man for an hour or so. But that can’t be….”
The detective paused and thought. Could Tone’i really be…? He trailed off into an avenue of deep thought and conjecture. He considered the possibilities of Tone’i being the missing human. Had Evila done it, had she really turned a human into one of them? Had she solved the greatest problem that plagued the race? He needed to know more. He put his cigar down on the table and scooted closer. He looked over at Tony.
“I am going to ask you a few more questions and I want you to be honest with me every step of the way. Can you do that?”
He could hear the determination the detective’s voice. Tony nodded. He didn’t want to get on his bad side again.
“Is your real name ‘Tony Blair’?”
Tony smiled. This was a question that he could answer. “Yes, it is, man there sure are a lot of people who know that around here.”
The machine lit up green and produced another piece of paper. Detective Cuffers didn’t bother looking at it. He already knew what it would say. Instead he fired another question at Tone’i.
“Did you used to be human?”
“Yeah, I did. That is, before Evila changed me into this,” said Tony as he looked down at himself. The machine lit up green and spat out another card. Detective Cuffers was absolutely amazed at this. The person sitting before him was in fact the missing human they were looking for. Evila had done it! The academy student had actually found a way to keep their race alive using a subspecies.
“Amazing,” whispered Cuffers under his breath. “Simply, amazing!”
Tony smiled uneasily. The detective was acting strange now. “Am I still in trouble? Can I go home now?”
The detective laughed suddenly and stood up. Tony watched as he shifted back and forth on his feet mumbling to himself like a mad man. He couldn’t make out what the detective was saying. It was all coming out too fast.
“Can I go now? Please!” begged Tony.
Cuffers looked over to him and smiled; he was about to answer when his circular communicator went off suddenly. He jumped at the noise and reached down for it. He un-hooked it from his belt and held it up to his pointed ear.
“Hello, this is Detective Cuffers, speak to me!”
A raspy voice spoke through the speaker; it sounded flat and cold like a frozen lake. “Hello, Detective Cuffers, this is Dean Redder. I am contacting you to see if you have found the human yet?”
Detective Cuffers looked over to Tone’i. “Why, yes, Dean, I have, but you are not going to believe the shape he is in!”
“What are you talking about, Detective? Is he dead? Is he hurt?” There was a little excitement in the Dean’s voice as he asked this.
“No, sir, he is unharmed, but he is… well, one of us now. He looks just like we do. That academy student Evila has done it. She successfully merged our race with that of the human subspecies. We don’t have to worry anymore.”
There was a long pause where the only sound that was heard was that of heavy breathing of the Dean’s asthmatic voice. “This is most unfortunate. I need you to bring the human up to my office. I wish to talk to him.”
“Okay, sir, I’ll bring him up. Is Evila with you right now? I wish to congratulate her on her success. This is truly amazing!”
“Yes, she is here; you can speak to her when you get here!”
The line went dead. Detective Cuffers placed the communicator back on his belt. He looked over to Tone’i. “I have some good news for you, pretty boy. We are going to see your girlfriend after all. Won’t she be delighted!”
Tony looked surprised and then blushed a little. He couldn’t believe what the detective had just said, “Evila is not my girlfriend! She is just a—”
The machine barked out a horrible noise at that moment totally cutting him off. The red light flashed and electricity shot through Tony’s arm and into his body like a bullet. He gritted his teeth and let out a yell. After a second the thing stopped. Tony looked over to the detective. “What was that for?”
The detective smiled real big. “It only does that when you lie, and the machine can detect a lie one-hundred percent of the time. You truly are Evila’s soulmate, aren’t you! You should feel lucky, boy; it is rare for this to happen in our race.”
Tony was confused; he looked down at his chest. His hearts were thumping wildly again. Maybe that is what she wanted to tell me, thought Tony suddenly, that my hearts beat this wildly for her.
“Okay, lover boy, let’s go see the Dean. He wants to talk to you about something, and I want to talk to Evila about everything.”
Tony looked over to the detective and smiled. “Okay, let’s go see them!” Within seconds Tony was freed from his bonds, and they left the small room quickly. It didn’t take long before they were in the elevator.