Author's note: This story is heavily inspired by the song Rosetta Stoned by Tool. I would also like to give thanks to NaturesTemper and KillaHawk1 for the excellent narrations.


"What We Are" by EmpyrealInvective (Narration by NaturesTemper)

I don’t remember much as I came to. I remember standing outside somewhere. It was nighttime and then there was a sudden brightness like someone had taken a picture with the flash on just inches away from my eyes. I blacked out after that point and when I came to, I am surrounded by incandescent light. The luminous light was warm to my skin which was a good thing because I now realize I am completely naked.

I try to orient myself and I come to a horrifying realization. My hands are bound to the table by a strange green light. I strain against it and come to two realizations. The first is that all my struggling produces little progress as I am firmly fastened by these lights. The second is that I am not a visitor in this place, but a captive.

I crane my neck around the sterile room. I can’t see much through the bright shafts of light that are bearing down on me from the ceiling, but I can make out through the clear substance that I am indeed in space. I can see outer space through the window-like bay that lies to my left. That revelation clears away a bit of the fog from my mind and I begin to remember pieces of what happened right before I was abducted.

I was, believe it or not, standing outside of the gates of Area 51 with a poster waving it back and forth at the people on the base. It read, “I want to believe.” I believed that the Area 51 site had the remnants of the ship that had crashed into Roswell and I thought if I waved my sign long enough and incessantly enough that they would eventually relent and let me in. I thought I had a right to know as a citizen of the United States.

Looking back, I realize that I was acting like such a fool. They had no reason to show me the wreckage or even affirm its existence to me. It was while I was standing at the chain-link fence that surrounds the base that I was encompassed in that white light and torn away from the ground in a violent upheaval. I have little time to debate whether or not this was in fact ironic as a wall parts on my right and the thing walks through.

It is lanky and its limbs are elongated as if it had existed in a space without gravity. The arms stretch down almost to the floor and terminate in a series of sucker-like phalanges. Its skin is smooth and gives off the appearance of being more like a carapace than skin itself. The mouth appears like a slit that has five of six small gaps in it. Under the gaze of its somniferous almond eyes I feel myself beginning to drowse, but I resist the urge to slumber. I doggedly think to myself, “Somniferous eyes? Where the hell did that word come from? Must remember to write that word down and look it up later.”

I manage to croak through a suddenly parched throat, “I knew you guys existed.”

It regards me silently for a moment before approaching even closer. I realize that it can’t understand me. It is now feet away from me and I can now see how tall it is. It must be eight feet tall. It is relatively thin and it looks like its entire body has been streamlined for movement through a fluid substance.

A question comes to my mind that I pose without expecting an answer, “What are you guys doing here? Please tell me you are not the type of aliens that probe people.”

It most likely doesn’t understand me, but its actions make its intentions painfully clear. One of the suction-cup looking appendages touches a screen on the table I am strapped to and a panel slides open. On it is a series of implements. I can’t make heads or tails of most of the instruments, but one does seem painfully familiar. One of the implements looks like a scalpel. The alien selects it and the scalpel-esque tool adheres to its hand with a wet pop. This thing is going to cut into me!

I struggle against the binding light, but I am firmly held in place. The alien regards my entire body as if deciding where to make the first incision and I silently pray that it doesn’t begin by cutting into my now fear-shrunken genitals. I breathe a sigh of relief when it lowers the scalpel towards my upturned wrist. I dumbly wonder if the warm light that is bathing my body also has any anesthetic properties. The alien begins cutting and I scream; it does not react.

I look away, hoping to take my mind off the pain. A smell wafts to my face, it smells like meat cooking and I make the gut-wrenching connection. The scalpel is burning me. It is cauterizing my wounds as it cuts. Their implements are made for cutting through their carapaces. It needs to be heated to slice through their thick flesh, but human skin is soft. This also explains why there are no applicable anesthetics. They are used to operating on their own kind and numbing agents that would work on their physiology wouldn’t work on mine.

The pain has now reached an unbearable crescendo and I have to look. I immediately regret looking. The skin of my forearm has been sliced into and peeled back like the skin of an blood orange. I can see the muscles, nerves, and tendons beneath my skin. The alien finishes dragging the scalpel across my flesh and I see a small wisp of smoke drift off where it had made contact with me. I feel light-headed and want to pass out. The alien experimentally puts one of its suckers on a tendon and gives it a light tug. I watch my finger twitch in response to the stimulation.

“It is studying me,” I hazily think before blacking out.

I wake up to a sharp pain in my chest. I bend my head down and see that the alien had been busy while I was unconscious. The skin of my right leg is flayed open and the inner-workings and musculature is pulsating, writhing in the warm light. Now it is trying to open up my chest, but it is having problems cutting through my sternum, which has proven tougher than my skin. It is trying to perform its job with finesse, but I can’t understand why. It could easily tear me open. The revolting realization dawns on me. It wants me alive. It wants to vivisect me! I scream. The pain that is surging through my synapses robs me of my ability to cognitively scream anything in particular. It comes out sounding like a mix between ululation and a cry of terror.

The alien resorts to pressing and dragging the scalpel across my chest in an attempt to slowly split open my ribs and expose my innards without damaging anything. I wretch, writhe, and roar in impotent terror as the being tries to open up my rib cage from different angles. Through the veil of tears that have filled my eyes, I see the door to the alien’s back slide open. Another alien enters, its carapace darker, and it seems to be larger. Could it be a superior of some sorts? The alien’s reaction is almost immediate. It drops the scalpel and moves away from my prone form. It drops its head slightly and its whole body seems to sag as the larger being approaches.

It speaks or rather communicates in a series of rapid-fire clicks and low pitch hums. Through the pain, an odd thought occurs to me.

“I would have thought that they communicated in lyrical tones and musical notes like that one movie.”

The smaller alien clucks and hums in a seemingly desperate manner, but it is losing the argument. Its head droops even lower and it picks up the scalpel and leaves the room. I feel tears of joy beginning to slide down my face. I am saved!

The larger being looks over my form for a few moments as if assessing the damage. The flesh on my upper and lower forearm feel as if they had been doused in gasoline and set aflame and I am pretty sure I will never regain use of that limb. My leg looks a little better, but only a little. Years of recuperation will probably afford me the ability to walk with a permanent limp. It clicks and clucks out a simple phrase that is entirely lost on me before pressing a button on the gurney I am bound to.

The gurney shifts and I am now upright. The shift sends a lightning bolt of pain zigzagging through me, but I ignore it. I will feel better once the light cuffs are taken off of me. The inter-stellar being presses another button and the floor below me slides open. I begin to worry that they are just going to drop me back down to earth, but as I looked down into the neon green light, I realize that it has a much more terrible fate planned out for me.

I can feel the heat coming off the light beneath me and I recoil as the revelation settles in. It is some sort of plasma incinerator and I am being disposed off, burnt to a crisp. The table begins its downward descent into the heat. I struggle, but the binds are still in place and even if they were off, I doubt I would be much good with a dissected arm and a hamstrung leg. I struggle nonetheless as I descend into oblivion.

I cast one last pleading look at the being and croak out some form of supplication, but nothing registers on its face. When I look into its eyes, I am hit with an old memory. The memory isn’t triggered by how the eyes appear, but in how they are looking at me.

It looks at me in a manner that brings an old memory rushing to the forefront of my mind. I remember when I was eight or so and had come across a beetle in my yard while I was playing. I had captured it and flipped it on its back. I had watched it struggle for a few moments before I began to systematically tear off its appendages. My dad came out into the yard to see what I was doing and caught me in the act. He scolded me. It was the look that he gave to the beetle before bringing his foot down on it that I recalled watching the larger alien. Their eyes conveyed the same emotion. It wasn’t pity, it wasn’t shock at the cruelty of its progeny, it was sheer and utter indifference.

The larger alien presses a button and I begin my complete downward descent towards immolation. I struggle against the gravitational pull that sucked me down towards the insanely hot plasma-like surface, but I knew it would do no good. A thought crosses my mind as I slide down towards incineration.

"We are nothing to them. We are infinitesimal, we are a novelty, we are a plaything. We are like bugs."


"What We Are" by Empyrealinvective - Narration by KillaHawk1

Written by EmpyrealInvective
Content is available under CC BY-SA

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.