We've Got A Live One
By Madeline Dyer
“We’ve got a live one.”
Those were the first words I ever heard the aliens say. Several of them said it, one after another, passing the message down the ranks. Some sounded excited, others amazed, many of them awed. I was rather surprised that my built-in translator was able to translate these odd being’s words; maybe we’d caught one of them before? Maybe I was the first live specimen of my species to be caught by these strange, strange beings. And I wasn’t entirely sure whether that was a good thing.
Well, of course it wasn’t; it was never a good thing to be caught!
“I don’t need a lead,” I told the nearest alien, (who suited the name of ‘Kypzi’), the one who was holding the other end of rope, “I’m hardly going to run off when you’ve got a gun pointed at me.”
My words made no difference to my situation; maybe their translation devices weren’t up to the standards of mine? A shame really, considering the consequences...
I stared at the alien to my left, and decided to call him (I believe he’s male) ‘Xolprehone’. Xolprehone had a large beaky nose and a monster amount of rugged hair. His eyes were deep and big, sparkling with lost gems. His friend, a lighter-built version of himself, who suited the name of ‘Jyog’ wrote something down on his clipboard and turned to inspect me.
“Oh, yes, definitely a live one, this one. Oh, the fame!” Kypzi lifted his massive limbs into the air. He was a good five feet taller than me, like the majority of his species were, and I flinched.
“Just have to make sure we get this one to the depot, alive,” the alien behind Xolphrehone said. Her voice reeked of exasperation.
“Do you think this one’s female?” Jyog asked, casting his strange eyes over me.
“Of course I am!” I screamed back, rather insulted, because I am very feminine. “And what exactly are you planning on doing to me?” I added rather anxiously.
They, of course, ignored me.
* * *
The Tirrotin Times 18th July 2304
DR. PHILLIP JAMES & CO CAPTURE THE FIRST LIVE TIME-ALIEN.
THE UNIVERSITY OF EXETER IS STILL CARRYING OUT THE INITIAL TESTS ON THIS NEW BEING; SCIENTISTS SAY THE DESIRED OUTCOME IS ‘UNLIKELY’.
* * *
The old woman sat in her old cottage at her old table, cradling her wizened hands. She trembled with every sound of the trees’ fingers brushing against her cracked window pane. It couldn’t be true, could it? No, it couldn’t.... Her son was gone.... They couldn’t bring him back.... It was too late... And anyway, she didn’t believe in this new-fangled magic.... she didn’t believe in aliens...
Nothing could bring him back, she was sure.
The lengths that these mad scientists were going to angered the old woman, they were stupid! The methods were stupid, the ideas were stupid and the scientists were stupid. He was gone! As if an 'alien’ could bring back her son. The very idea was absolutely ridiculous.
She got up and looked at the clock. Twelve hours left. In twelve hours she’d know. Ha! They’d know. They’d realise how stupid they’d been. As if this could ever work!
* * *
“I demand that you let me go immediately!” I tried to sound civilised, and repeated my order in the seven hundred and fifty-three languages that I knew; a process which is really quite quick considering that many of the languages are on the telepathic level and can be ‘spoken’ at the same time as the ‘hearable’ tongues.
The room was cold and harshly lit. I was strapped to a bed in the most uncomfortable positions, and the bed had an alarming amount of tubes growing out of it that wrapped around my little body, trapping me. The gun was also nearby.
“Is there any way to turn it off?” Jyog asked the alien behind me. He pressed a button near my ear and the bed moved into a sitting position. But, it was only a little better.
The alien at the foot of my bed shrugged and rolled his eyes. “You got the tool?”
“Getting it now,” one of them replied in a crisp voice that was of a neutral tone. I couldn’t see that particular alien, but I think he or she was behind me.
Ok, so now I was getting very worried. Very worried indeed. Especially as it looked like they were about to perform some sort of experiment that none of the aliens seemed entirely comfortable with. And neither was I, but they didn’t know the consequences...
“This better work,” one of the aliens whispered.
I gulped as my suspicions were confirmed. It was inevitable; she was wielding a knife and it was travelling towards me at an alarming speed. The light glinted off it, slicing the air, as it came nearer and nearer...
* * *
The Tirrotin Times 19th July 2304
“THE IMPOSSIBLE IS NOW POSSIBLE!”
WHO WOULD EVER HAVE THOUGHT IT? SCIENTISTS ARE STILL ARGUING OVER WHETHER IT REALLY HAPPENED. BUT ONE THING IS DEFINITE: AFTER FIVE YEARS, JON LEEMAN IS ALIVE!
* * *
“There are some things that happen, that we understand,” the prime minister spoke, surveying his audience with his eagle eye, “and some things that happen, that we’ll never understand; this ‘new-life’ is one of them.”
The prime minister signalled to the woman at the back of the stage. She reached up and pulled the velvet rope. The crowd gasped as the curtains drew back.
“That - No!”
“It can’t be true!”
* * *
“You may return to your own world now,” Kypzi spoke directly to me, over-emphasising every word, speaking to me as though I was a tiny toddler.
I looked at him through my dreary eyes, the world was spinning and I’d never been so exhausted. I could barely breathe.
“Off you go!” Another of the aliens shewed her hands at me, “go on! Your job here’s done.”
“Oh no,” I whispered, “we are not done. It’s only just begun-” I broke off coughing, shielding my eyes from the harsh light above me.
Kypzi looked at me, his strange eyes full of compassion. He mouthed one word: ‘Sorry’.
Yes, I thought, yes. He was sorry. Yes, he was sorry...
...Sorry that he’d just started a war.
My people were furious, I could feel it in my bones, my blood, my limbs, my tail...
Our powers are special, unique and no one should ever force any one of us, against our will, to use our incredible magic to bring someone back. It should always be our choice.
And the humans have broken that rule.
- - -
Madeline Dyer lives on a farm in Devon, England, and has a strong love for mythology and folklore; this in particular inspired her to start writing fantasy. She is currently working on her sixth young adult fantasy novel.
Thursday, September 19, 2013
We've Got A Live One
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