Authors: Taylor Dillion
“Why are they afraid of you?” Blanca rudely blurted out.
Ashaa smiled, “They have seen things done to me that would have killed a human easily and didn’t affect me or simply injured me in a way that I recovered from. It makes them afraid I guess.”
“Blanca!” Sienna chastised.
“It’s alright, Sienna,” Ashaa replied. “I once was subjected to 100,000 volts of electricity and it didn’t even make me flinch. It takes something like a beheading or bleeding to death to kill one of the hybrids like myself.” The women gaped at her.
“How many of you were at the base when we were taken?” asked Jasmine.
“Only one. Dr. Westing was only allowed to grow one of us at time from the frozen embryos,” Ashaa replied.
“Where did they get the Alien part of you?” Rose wanted to know.
“Roswell, stupid,” Blanca taunted.
“Actually, no, the craft crashed on a small uninhabited island in the Pacific near Guam in 1973,” Ashaa supplied.
Rose grinned at Blanca and stuck her tongue out at her.
“Were there any survivors?” Jasmine asked.
“Yes, one survived only a few days but the other lived several years after the military rescued them from the island. He was killed trying to escape,” Ashaa said softly. “His name was Usholt. His DNA was used to create me.”
“So he was your father,” Rose said sadly.
“I suppose you could call him that but I didn’t know him. He had been dead long before I was created.”
“How old are you?” Rose queried.
“I am twenty one years of age. They pretty much know what will kill us so now they want to determine what we’re capable of as we age which is why they haven’t killed me.” Ashaa’s statement was matter of fact without emotion.
“Doesn’t that make you mad?”
“What would be the point of getting angry, Jasmine. It would not change my circumstance and probably would have gotten me put down.
Sudden screams interrupted the discussion. They were animal sounds of pain and agony that brought out goose bumps on the humans and had the large reptile like creatures snarling and throwing themselves at the bars of the cage. They roared furiously. The noise was deafening and terrifying. Despite their size and fierce appearance, the bearcats as Rose had dubbed them cowered in the corner. The blue aliens in the cage with the other group of humans seemed to be sobbing. The sounds stopped as quickly as they had started. Only the angry roar of the reptile creatures and the clanging of the animals testing the cage sounded now. Gradually, even these sounds waned. Sadness and fear settled over the room with only a few sounds from the animals but even they were mostly quiet.
Long hours had passed when several of their current captors returned with food again. The tiny beings were only about four feet tall; grass green with slim bodies that held heads which seemed too big for their bodies and big black eyes. But despite their stature there was something sinister about them. Perhaps it was the huge unblinking black eyes. Sienna wasn’t sure they even had eyelids. The two waited patiently at the door holding the pan. Sienna realized they wanted the first pan back. She stood and returned the pan to the slot. One of the small beings pulled out the empty and the second slid the new pan into the slot. The pan was filled with the same gray bricks as the first time. One of the two grinned at her and she instinctively moved back. His mouth was full of sharp needle-like teeth. The two moved the cart on to the next cell. Sienna pulled the pan out of the slot and started toward the others.
First she offered the contents to the creature still hiding in the corner. The creature was only about three feet tall and looked like a furry octopus except it had more than eight tentacles. This close to it Sienna could see that the orange fur had swirls of darker orange running through it and it had light green eyes. She smiled at it without showing her teeth. Mindful of the teeth she had just viewed herself. The creature stared at her balefully for a moment and then reached into the pan for two pieces of the food. She then went to the four women who still seemed intent on avoiding Ashaa although she had done nothing to indicate she was a threat to them.
Private Jennings glared at her as she approached him.
“Why did you give that thing first choice?” he sneered at her.
“Just be glad I didn’t leave you for last,” she retorted.
He snatched three pieces and glared again. Sienna chose to ignore him. Jasmine and Natalie filled the water bottles from the tap again. Taylor watched the orange creature turn its own upside down and stare at the empty bottle with a forlorn expression. She stood and approached the small creature.
“Would you like me to get you more water?” she spoke to it with a soft gentle tone not wanting to frighten it. She crouched to its level holding out her hand. The creature watched her for a moment then gave her the bottle. She went to the tap, filled then returned the bottle. It watched her for a moment and then retrieved the bottle from her allowing the tentacle to brush her palm. It was soft and warm and tickled her palm. As she went to move away, the tentacle touched her hand again. She looked the creature and heard a soft whisper, “zanksss.”
“You’re welcome,” she told it and returned to her group.
“It spoke to you?” Rose eyed the creature.
“Cool,” Rose said and turned to her meal.
“Why did you help it?” Blanca grouched. “It’s creepy.”
“So are you, but we don’t hold it against you,” Rose told her with a grin.
Blanca shot her the bird.
“Enough! You two be nice and eat,” Sienna chastised them. Rose had the grace to look remorseful and mutter, “Sorry.” Blanca didn’t comment but started eating.
Again unending hours of nothing weighed on Sienna. This cell was even smaller and there was no way to even pace. The relative quiet was broken by what sounded like a human voice yelling. It was too far away to make out words but the distress in it was clear. Sienna thought it was male as it began to scream in pain. After a few horrifying moments it finally cut off.
“Major, check in,” the voice of Colonel Derrins commanded.
“Everyone in my room is counted. They fed us and left,” he responded.
Sobbing could be heard in various levels and distances.
“What the hell are they doing?” the major asked to no one in particular.
After a few moments of conversation outside the room, the colonel’s voice sounded again.
“Another from the Lt.’s group,” he said. “Private Nielson.”
Silence reigned again for hours broken by only the animal noises.
“I have to pee again,” Samantha complained. Sienna smiled who knew she’d ever wish for something as simple as bathroom. All the women stood and went to the waste receptacle. It was sort of a box with hole it that you sat on and did your thing and then a laser moved over you and cleaned you. No paper but no door either. The women formed a wall around Samantha with their backs to her and glared at Private Jennings who was leering as though he could see through them to Samantha. Each woman took a turn and replaced the next woman in the wall afterwards.
“Would you like a turn while we’re up?” Sienna asked the other group of women.
They looked Ashaa for a moment and then at the private. They stood as one and came over and joined the wall of women and took a turn. After everyone took a turn they went to tap in the wall and washed their hands out of habit since the waste receptacle was hands free.
“Thanks. This is Holly and Tabitha. I’m Wendy,” one of the younger women began introducing them. “That’s Dr. Beatrice Martin,” she said indicated the older woman who was walking away without a word. Dr. Martin turned to glare at her.
“They always told us the Ashaa was extremely dangerous and not to interact with her,” Holly said watching Ashaa who simply smiled.
“Somehow I think she’s the least of our worries right now,” Sienna responded.
The women sat together now except for the doctor who continued to glare at them.
“What did you do at the base?” Rose braved the question.
“The three of us are vet techs. We feed and care for the animals there in the lab,” Holly replied. “Dr. Martin is the veterinarian.”
“What kind of animals?” Natalie wanted to know.
Suddenly, Dr. Martin was standing over them. “You’re not allowed to answer their questions or tell them anything,” she ground out. “You signed a confidentiality agreement. You could wind up in prison.”
“Doc, look around,” Wendy smiled and raised her eyebrows at the older woman.
The older women stalked off as they all snickered and Ashaa laughed out loud.
“Ashaa, could you have gotten out of the other cage?” everyone turned to stare at Wendy aghast that she would ask such a thing. “What? You can’t tell me some of you haven’t wondered considering how much worse off we seem to be.”
“Unfortunately, no, I could not breach the invisible walls. I was the first to recover and tried several times. When you pressed against the wall with a flat hand with just mild pressure it held but nothing more; however, attempting to damage or penetrate it, it took that personally and let loose with an electrical charge that knocked me back about six feet. The second attempt I was thrown about ten feet as the charge nearly doubled. The third attempt launched me back into the wall hard enough to leave some hefty bruises down my back and left burns on my hands and feet. I chose not to try a fourth time,” Ashaa explained.
“Thank you for telling me,” Wendy said softly. “It was probably rude to ask but I just couldn’t stand not knowing.”
To relieve the boredom, Holly started a game of worst date. They eventually decided Natalie was the winner after she told them during her one and only semester at college her date from the college’s student match app had picked her up in a stolen car, gotten into a police chase, had a high-speed accident that nearly killed them both and gotten her arrested until she could prove she just met him, all in the first hour of a first date and that didn’t even count the aftermath with her parents. They talked about favorite foods, movies, books and places. No one mentioned families it just hurt too much to go there. Then they napped for a while as there was nothing else to do. After they woke, Tabitha started teaching them some yoga to deal with the stiffness caused by the cramped conditions. She had been a part time instructor while in school she told them.
Two of the small aliens appeared again with another meal. Sienna had returned the pan earlier and they swapped it once more with a filled pan. Several of the women went to the tap and filled the water bottles. This time the small orange creature came out slowly from the corner and approached with its empty container. Taylor smiled and knelt with her hand out for the bottle. She handed the bottle to Holly who filled it and passed it back to her. Taylor returned the bottle.
“My name is Taylor and I am a human, a Navajo,” she told the shy creature as she handed the bottle back. “You can sit with us if you like.”
Just when Taylor decided it wouldn’t reply, “Am Zabysss.” The last syllable was sort of a hiss but Taylor smiled.
“And what are your people called?” Taylor asked.
“Am Xydrav,” Zabyss responded. Taylor rose slowly and she returned to the spot on the floor with Zabyss in tow. Taylor sat and then told the creature the names of all the women in the group and told them the creature’s name. Sienna offered it food which it took. Zabyss ate neatly and quietly with them.
“You have a translator?” Sienna asked.
“Do you know who or what these beings are? Or what’s happening?” Sienna asked of their new member.
“Called Mirkndaks. Very secretive. Not social,” Zabyss spoke in whisper.
“Do you know what’s happening?” Sienna asked again.
“No. Many go before you come. Screams, terrible noises next. Then silence,” Zabyss told them. What Zabyss lacked in syntax she (?) made up for in meaning.
Suddenly there was commotion at the door. Sienna and the others looked to see a group of about ten of the small green keepers at the door. They seemed to be viewing the occupants of each cell. The little green creatures strolled as though touring a zoo. Blanca suddenly began screaming and Sienna turned to see her pointing at one of the small green aliens toward the back of the group. He was chewing happily on a piece of bloody meat. The problem: the piece of meat had a male human hand attached to the end of it. Sienna thought she might faint. Some of the blue beings had started to cry again in the other cell. The keepers seemed to be muttering amongst themselves but the translator in Sienna’s neck didn’t translate the strange noises into anything she could understand. But she got it, they were food. Zabyss scurried back to the corner. Sienna finally became aware of the colonel’s voice shouting from the other room.
“What the hell is going on over there, Major? Respond now, damn it!”
“Sir, they’re eating us.”
“What the hell do you mean?” the general’s disbelieving voice asked.
“Exactly what I said, Sir. One of the aliens is chewing on an arm with a male human hand still attached to it. They also seem to be looking to choose another meal,” Major Roberts said solemnly.
Blanca now sat sobbing hysterically. Some of the others were crying quietly in horror. The little green men didn’t seem to notice and were now headed back out of the room. Neither the general nor the colonel had asked any further questions. Sienna didn’t know what else could be said. A terrible silence broken only occasionally by animal sounds and quiet sobbing filled the rooms. Sienna hadn’t thought much about her own death but never would she have imagined it as someone’s dinner. It was quite ironic she thought with a dark humor. She had spent a good portion of her twenty-eight years feeding people and now she was going to do it quite literally.
Four of the small aliens came back into the room carrying a large stick. They wrangled a bearcat out of the cage, tied it to the stick and carried it away. Sienna sighed in relief along with most of the others. Over the next days, tension built in the rooms as they knew now that the screams were the horrifying ends to lives.
Five days after they discovered they were being eaten the keepers returned to their room. Four of them entered the cell across from Sienna as she and the others in her group held their breath while Blanca cried and Zabyss hid in the corner. Most of the men in cell attacked the aliens. There shouts and screams of humans and shrill noises from the aliens that brought more of the aliens running in to the room and into the cell. The aliens were brandishing sticks like those the suPonicks had carried. Men began to fall and along with hope of being freed. Sienna felt the tingle start in her neck and knew the blackout was coming.
Sienna woke to Private Jennings shouting.
“Somebody needs to fucking do something! You idiot bastards got us into this now get us out!”
“Private stand down.” The major’s voice sounded tired.
“Fuck you!” He turned and glared at them. Before anyone could guess his intent he strode up and backhanded Rose who had been rolling her eyes at his tantrum. Then he yanked her up off the floor and slammed her into the wall stunning her.
“I’m gonna have some of this before I get eaten,” he snarled and began tearing at her clothes. Taylor and Sienna sprang into action and grabbed him. He turned and punched Sienna in the face so hard she was knocked unconscious and crashed to the floor. He hit Taylor in the stomach and shoved her back.
Samantha frantically was shaking Ashaa in an attempt to wake her. “Ashaa, Ashaa, help!”
“Private, cease your actions now!” the major shouted.
Rose was fighting back now as Tabitha, Holly, Wendy and Jasmine tried to help. The private twisted Rose’s arm and there was sickening crack as she screamed. Jasmine clawed his face and neck, he threw and elbow and caught her in the face telling her, “Wait your turn”. Ashaa suddenly came to and leaped into action. She grabbed the private off of Rose, lifted him from the ground and threw him. She pounced on him and began punching him. The keepers ran into the cell with the sticks waving. Ashaa paid little heed to them as she continued to pummel the private. They began zapping her repeatedly. Ashaa roared in fury and turned on her tormentors. She killed two by shaking them so hard their tiny necks snapped audibly and large heads hung awkwardly. Still under attack without warning Ashaa blanched a pale green herself. Then she staggered back from them. They kept after her with the sticks till her body was twitching and shuddering as she slumped down to the floor unconscious again. She was now a pale green with dark green spots along the sides of her face that disappeared into the jumpsuit and also ran along her arms, the backs of her hands and the tops of her bare feet. Her lips were the same dark green as her spots. The keepers retreated out of the cell dragging the private’s still form and the two of their own with them. More of them collected in the path and in the hall beyond. They were extremely agitated and kept pointing at Ashaa while they made their strange little clicks and mutters. After much discussion they turned and filed out dragging the private’s unconscious possibly deceased form and their dead with them.