Hey! Happy Tuesday, the Blogbattlers! Here’s my submission to this week, prompt word: hair, genre: sci fi
I couldn’t see. I was a hostage of the alien species. I was taken to receive my death sentence.
Two guards held me by the arms on both sides, and I could hear She (the name drove me nuts!) walking in front of me. I heard the doors sliding open and closed behind us with almost noiseless sound. Our footsteps were absorbed by something rubbery and cushiony, like a track field surface.
“How long have you been with the Unkari?” I asked her. She did not respond. “Come on, you are going to execute me, aren’t you? The least you can do for me is to satisfy my curiosity.”
“I could. But then, why would I?” She replied dispassionately.
“Why? What do you mean why? You say you are a human, right? Well, we have at least that much in common. How did you get here? What did they promise you to make you defect?”
“You think we have a lot in common? Let me tell you, you could not insult me more. You, humans, are arrogant and not that bright. You are like babies with the fire power to destroy half of the galaxy. Now, why would I want to have anything in common with you?”
“Maybe so, but not everyone is this way. Ensign River, for example. Her race is pacifist.”
“And yet, here she is, a soldier and a murderer of two Unkari soldiers.”
“Yeah, I see how it might look like… But let me tell you, for all I know, Unkari are not saint either. They wanted to take over our space, we politely refused. And what did they do? They left and harbored resentment for the humanity for 300 years, and plotted blitzkrieg.”
“You think you know something, don’t you.” There was no question mark at the end of that one, only dry, bone-dry bitterness.
“Then tell me! I know only what I was told, but maybe there is the other side to the story.”
“There is always another side of the story, don’t you think?”
“True. But whose story is closer to the truth? For all I know, you and me may be speaking the same language, but we are far from understanding each other.”
She was quiet. We stopped walking.
“Come on, you don’t want to kill me without full remorse, don’t you? Isn’t that the purpose of the Unkari trial?”
“You may have a point there.” She finally agreed. “Alright. Let me talk to the Leader.”
“Leader? The Unkari pilot said he was taking me to the Leader.”
“Be quiet, would you!”
I stayed, and She seemed to step aside.
“The Leader agrees that your understanding may contribute to your remorse.”
“See, you might get a promotion out of it!”
“Never mind, bad joke. Ok, I am ready for the learning curve.”
She directed me to the transporter, that lightly took off in the unknown direction.
“What are you going to show me?”
“You will see it for yourself.”
“I’m not really blind, am I?”
“We’ll get to that as well. Meanwhile I need to fill in your gaps on human-Unkari relations.”
I was sitting in a chair of some sort, enveloped in darkness, and strapped with a safety belt, imagining She across from me (at least that’s where her voice come from). She sounded like a young woman with an unfamiliar English accent, probably influenced by the Unkari language. I suspected that She was with the Unkari for a long time, maybe her entire life. From the sound of her voice, She didn’t strike me as someone to get early ‘worry lines’.
“First, tell me how much you know.” She said.
“Well, I know maybe a fraction more compared to any other human who studied the history of the ‘first contact’. There is only one wrinkle in the official narrative that I know not to be true. That is the Voyager’s Golden Record.”
“How did you find out about it?”
“My family keeps the unpublished memoir of my ancestor, Dr. Coli. He was among the Monrovia eye witnesses.”
“Coli is your relative?” For the first time, I registered a strong emotion in her voice.
“Well, that explains your ability to oscillate… No, no. Forget about it. It doesn’t matter.”
“My ability to do what?”
“I told you, forget it!”
“Why do you think the Voyager record is important?”
“It may or may not be important. But it may imply that the initial intent of the Unkari was peaceful.”
“Your guess is right. Unkari came first of all to warn humans. Sending strategic information in space without any idea as to who may be coming across it… well, it is dangerous. Humans are not ready to match any extraterrestrial civilization at war.”
“Ok, if they are so powerful, why did they ‘play’ diplomacy with us?”
“They did not ‘play’. Unkari are patient and just. They wanted to give humans a chance.”
Meanwhile the transporter stopped, and we exited to what seemed to be a city, filled with foreign noises and chatter.
“Tilt your head to the back and keep your eyes wide open.” She commanded. I complied. Sharp pain immediately kicked in, as if I was hit with a fist simultaneously in both eyes. I twitched in pain and grabbed my eyes with my palms. My face was covered with the headgear, which meant that the water supply was replenished, and I could breathe normally.
“It will get better in a minute,” I heard her reassurance. “I activated your optic nerve.”
“Oh my God!!!” I was yelping in pain. “This is intense! Why did you do it??”
“I needed to prevent you from using your equipment. Obstructing your vision seemed appropriate. It’s just nano-saline eyedrops, no big deal.”
I had to sit down on the floor because the experience made me lightheaded. That is when I removed my palms from my face and saw shapes. Shapes at first, then – more clearly. My vision was returning to me. In a few minutes, I could make sense of my surroundings. We were obviously in an advanced city that reminded Earth Prime architecture. Tall buildings framed the skyline, and the streets were crowded with … people! Humans!
“What is this place?” I was in awe and in shock simultaneously.
“They are humans, obviously.”
“You need to start explaining it all right now.” This is when I finally turned my head to the woman who called herself She.
Tall, with heap of fiery red hair, She wore some kind of a black uniform that presented her figure in a flattering manner. I couldn’t say if She was pretty or not, but the word that came to my mind was ‘blank’. Light red eyebrows, red eyelashes, extremely pale skin definitely untouched by the natural sunlight, thin shapely lips that framed her small mouth – all in all, a generic appearance.
“Wellcome to Istanbul.” She said. “I know, you have many questions, but there is nobody who can provide you with better answers, than Ottis Coli himself.”
My eyes nearly popped out of my orbits.
“Do you seriously expect me to believe this? The man is dead for 300 years now!”
“You may be not too far from truth, Mazula. By the way, you may remove your headgear. This human reservation has perfect terrestrial climate control.”
[to be continued]
Copyright (2016) Ellie Maloney