Piker Press Banner
February 26, 2024

The Lake Erie Lights 11

By Hawkelson Rainier

Chapter 11: Alien is a Relative Term

Clint Eastwood Wannabe and another goofy looking guard escorted Roy to his meeting in shackles.

"Hello, Mr. Ingersol," an attractive Asian woman in a navy blue business skirt said. "I'm Susan Sun, and I'm going to be your council from here on out."

"Have we met before?" Roy blurted out.

"No, I don't believe so. Now let's get started. Guards, I'd like some privacy with my client."

"Yes ma'am," Clint Eastwood Wannabe said. "We'll be right outside the door if you need us."

"Very well," Miss Sun said with a smile. Clint Eastwood Wannabe and Barney Fife exited the room, but not before stealing a few obvious glances at her rack.

"All right, Mr. Ingersol, it looks like you've already had a shaky start. What's this about a fight?"

"I don't know," Roy confessed. "They locked me in a cell with some crazy guy who was gonna break my neck because I said 'hi' to him during The Price is Right. Then I just defended myself, and now I've been in the Chiller ever since."

"The Chiller? I'm not familiar."

"Solitary confinement," Roy said.

"And what are the conditions like in The Chiller?"

Roy was about to reel off a checklist of complaints, but he thought better of it. "It's okay," he said weakly.

"Good, but I'll see what I can do about getting you placed back into the regular population. You would prefer that, wouldn't you?"

"Yes, I would, Miss Sun."

"I want you to look over this document, Mr. Ingersol. It's an incident report composed by the guards who responded to the fight you were involved in. Read it carefully, and tell me if there is anything you feel is not accurate, or if there is pertinent information you feel has been omitted."

"Yes, ma'am." Roy began reading the document.

"Roy, this isn't really an incident report. For now, just pretend that it is, and don't look up from the page. Relax and open your mind. I'm going to establish a telepathic channel between us, and then we'll be able to communicate in absolute privacy. Trust me. You don't have to read anymore. The rest of the page is a transcription of the Gettysburg Address. I just typed it out to fill up the rest of the page so everything looks legit."

Roy looked up from the page, and was about to ask Miss Sun if she got her law degree out of a box of Fruit Loops, but then her voice suddenly registered in his mind.

"Shh," she said, with only her brainwaves, "We can communicate telepathically, just like we did last night." The rest of the conversation transpired entirely by telepathy.

"Lindsay?" Roy's mind reached out to hers. "Was that you with me last night?"

"Yep. We're gonna get you out of here. Pay close attention, okay?"

"Who is we?" Roy asked.

"There's a secret network that's very interested in your well-being."

"What kind of secret network?"

"Scientists."

"You work for them?"

"Yes," Lindsay confirmed.

"Is that how you got the credentials to come in here posing as my lawyer?"

"Yes."

"What do the scientists want from me?" Roy asked.

"You can help them. You have a certain characteristic that can help them in their research."

"What characteristic?"

"I think you know already, Roy."

"Because I can travel outside of my body?"

"Bingo," Lindsay said.

"So what? You can too. You were up there last night with me."

"Telepathy, psychic abilities, even astral projection are relatively common in more advanced species. But the scientists have detected something extraordinary about your abilities."

"Hold on a second," Roy interjected. "What do you mean advanced species? Like more advanced than people?"

"Yes."

"What? Like dolphins?"

"Come on, Roy. Do you really believe life forms never evolved anywhere in the universe except on your tiny little planet, Earth?"

"You're talking about alien species?"

"Alien is a relative term. I'm just talking about life forms that have existed much longer than humans, and have achieved very high degrees of mental abilities."

"Why don't your scientists get a big net and catch one of these super advanced aliens for their experiment, then?"

"The scientists are aliens, Roy. Well ... they're alien to you, anyway. Like I said, it's a relative term."

"Nope, I'm not gonna help. I'm not gonna help aliens. I've heard stories about their probing, and all that."

"Nobody's going to probe you. They have calculated your probability of survival to be very high."

"So there's a chance I could die? No way. No fucking way."

"Roy, you were trying to drown yourself in a toilet less than fifteen minutes ago. Now you're concerned about safety?"

"That's different. At least I knew what I was getting into. It was on my terms. Not some alien's terms."

"The prejudice exhibited by members of your species is appalling."

"Of my species? Tell me somethin', tinsel tits. What species do you belong to? The amphibians?"

"Tinsel tits? That's really intelligent. Are you twelve years old?"

"Apparently I'm intelligent enough that a secret network of highly advanced alien scientists have gone through a lot of trouble to recruit me into some half-cocked, life-threatening experiment."

"I said you exhibit a certain characteristic they're interested in. I never said anything about intelligence."

"And you never answered my question either, Lindsay."

"What question?"

"I asked you what species you belong to."

"I was genetically engineered to be almost identical to humans. But they enhanced certain regions of my brain to facilitate telepathic abilities."

"The aliens genetically engineered you?"

"Yes."

"What about me? Did I come from a test tube like you?"

"No, Roy. You're one hundred percent human. The real McCoy."

"Then why do I have telepathic abilities? Why can I astral project?"

"Characteristics for heightened mental abilities do exist in the human gene pool. It's rare, but not unheard of. For every fifty million people, there's one with quantifiable psychic abilities. And of those, there's a handful of humans with psychic abilities that would qualify as 'elevated'. And from that group, perhaps there's one or two that demonstrate extraordinary abilities. Your abilities are extraordinary, Roy, but your true potential will remain untapped without the proper training and guidance."

"So I'm as advanced as the alien scientists?" Roy asked.

"No, I didn't say that. I said you have remarkable psychic abilities that seem to have emerged from the process of natural selection. You just got lucky."

"It's better to be lucky than good," Roy said.

"So are you in?" Lindsay asked.

"First tell me the plan."

"It's simple. You rest for three days and get your strength up. I'm gonna see to it that your meals arrive regularly. It won't be gourmet caliber, but it will be pretty good."

"You can do that?"

"Of course. I work for a secret network of highly evolved alien scientists, remember?"

"Yeah," Roy said.

"In three days I'll come for you in my etheric form. You'll leave your physical form behind, and I'll guide your etheric substance to a base that exists beneath the lunar surface."

"On the moon?"

"Yes."

"That's crazy."

"Yes, I'm sure it seems quite remarkable to you."

"Then what?"

"Then, your etheric substance will be introduced to a new physical host."

"What?" Roy asked.

"It's another body for you to occupy. It has been genetically engineered to look just like you do now, and we believe that will do much to lessen the psychological impact of the transition."

"You want me to switch bodies?"

"Is there a problem?"

"It just seems so fuckin' weird. I mean, I like who I am. I know I'm not perfect, but this is who I am."

"Roy, your consciousness is who you are. That's what matters. You'll be the same person. And you'll be out of this dungeon."

"What's gonna happen to my body? I mean, the one I'm in now?"

"It will maintain rudimentary brain stem functions for a time, and then those will cease. Then the body will die, and the state will contact your family to make arrangements."

"Will I keep my memories?"

"Yes. All of your memories will transfer with you."

"And no probing, right?"

"No. Nothing like that."

"Then I'm stuck being their guinea pig for the rest of my life?"

"No, Roy. Then you begin training to maximize your unique abilities."

"Will you be there?"

"Yes. I'll be there as a liaison between you and the scientists for the duration."

"And what exactly is the duration? Weeks? Years? Centuries?"

"It's hard to say, Roy. It's not a regimented endeavor, like going to school. It's just a learning process that will play out at its own speed."

"Jeez, Lindsay, I have no idea what to expect. This sounds crazy to me."

"Well, it's up to you. If you're not one hundred percent committed from the onset, this thing won't work. But, Roy, trust me when I tell you this is a rare and beautiful opportunity."

Roy drummed his fingers on the table for a solid thirty seconds. He bit his nails. He wiped a film of perspiration from his brow with the back of his hand. "Okay," he said, "I'm in."

"All right, Roy. I'll come for you in three days. Get your rest. It's gonna be a long journey to the moon."

"Hey."

"Yeah?"

"Can you have them send me a double cheeseburger with french fries and a bottle of ketchup? And I don't mean one or two of those little plastic packets -- I'm talking about a whole bottle of Heinz ketchup."

"I'll see what I can do."

Miss Sun departed, and Roy was marched back to The Chiller by Clint Eastwood and Deputy Fife. It occurred to Roy that he must have been hallucinating the entire time he was in council with his lawyer. Instead of using the meeting to object to the abhorrent conditions of solitary confinement, he instead chose to concoct a fictitious telepathic dialogue about aliens and out-of-body escape plans. It was a soul-crushing revelation.

The heavy iron door slammed shut behind him, and he just stood there in the darkness trying to hold back tears. Then the overhead light began to buzz to life, and his cell was illuminated in the mild glow of two relatively tame fluorescent bulbs. It wasn't the kind of cozy light somebody would choose for their den or breakfast nook, but it wasn't the retina-searing bulbs that were there when he first stepped inside The Chiller. Overall, it was a nice effect. He felt better about things.






Article © Hawkelson Rainier. All rights reserved.
Published on 2021-11-08
Image(s) are public domain.
0 Reader Comments
Your Comments






The Piker Press moderates all comments.
Click here for the commenting policy.