|Flashing Lights submitted 2009.12.26 06:29 AM by Symbolic_ viewed 2573 times|
|Chapter 1. Nowhere fast|
"Stop driving so fast!" She exclaimed.
"Sorry" he retorted as he eased his foot off the peddle of his Rebel Convertible.
"I wish we would've left sooner, look at how dark it is now I probably wont have any time to try on all the new clothes I got." She said looking at herself in the passengers side mirror.
The two were on their way back from visiting family for the holidays. They were sixty miles in with only sixty to go. The highway was as desolate and unforgiving as the passenger. Though the driver paid her little mind, as she was likely to be discussing five or six different things in the course of only ten minutes. He simply nodded his head when appropriate, or gave a disapproving look when needed. In the back of his mind, he was wondering why they were even still together.
He remembered when they met it was something out of a fantasy. By chance and circumstance, the stars had aligned for one moment, placing these two individuals within arms reach. They used to talk for hours about various things, and exotic lands they'd discovered in their youth. But these days it felt like she was concerned more so with financial gain, and product acquisition. He'd often question whether he loved her or not, but usually put such thoughts to rest.
"So do you like your sweater?" she said suddenly.
"Oh yes I love it." he quickly retorted maintaining his eyes on the road.
"You're not even listening to me are you." She said in a sardonic tone.
"Of course I am I'm just paying attention to the road." He quickly retorted.
"Well whatever, oh yeah did I tell you what happened at work. The new girl Jenna she like totally..." her voice began to trail off in his mind when suddenly.
"What the hell is that?" she exclaimed as the two saw what appeared to be some sort of air craft not more than fifty feet above and away from them.
He quickly slammed the brakes, and the two stared in curiosity and wonder at the strange vehicle ahead. It made no sound, and hovered in the air.
"What the hell is that?!?" She exclaimed again this time in fear.
"I don't know." He said.
Chapter 2. The Conjuring
"Huh" he exclaimed out loud in what seemed to be before him the inside of some sort of rustic log cabin. He laid there staring at the ceiling thinking to himself "Unfamiliar ceiling." He couldn't remember how he got there, the only thing he could remember was driving home and his last words being I don't know to the passenger next to him.
"Susan!" he shouted as he darted up from the bed he was lying in. He scanned around the cabin to find himself the only inhabitant. He was in the only real piece of furniture, besides two chairs he could see. There were two windows overlooking a terrace thick with trees. and an area with a stove and a few lanterns above it. A few fishing poles in the opposite corner of the stove, and various camping accessories. He started to admire the surroundings around him, thinking this was the sort of place he wanted to vacate to someday.
"Do you find this suitable?" A strange voice asked.
"Who's there?!" He quickly yelled
"Those sorts of questions will be answered in due time, but at the moment I'm asking, do you like this environment?"
"Well yes I suppose this is fine." He said feeling uneasy about what was going on. When he realized he hadn't actually heard the voice, but the voice felt more like a piercing thought he couldn't ignore.
"Excellent, I shall be arriving shortly."
"Arriving?" He said in wonder.
He still wasn't sure of what was going on, and was worried about the state of his girlfriend Susan. He was tempted to leave the cabin, but thought he should wait for his supposed visitor to make an appearance.
When he noticed the knob of the cabin door slowly turning and the door slowly opening. He saw a tall figure in the door way.
"Hello Edward it's nice to meet you. You may call me Benjamin."
Chapter 3. The Skull Beneath the Skin
Edward saw the figure and upon further inspection noticed a tall man with thick brown hair wearing what appeared to be typical camping attire. The man looked rugged as if he'd been out there for months. Something about him though was slightly off, he couldn't put his finger on it.
"Who, who are you? Were you in that ship we saw? Where's Susan what did you do with Susan!" Edward exclaimed.
"She's fine." Benjamin calmly stated. "And yes I was in that ship you saw, as for who I am well chances are you wont believe me if I told you, which is why I'd rather not explain such a thing and talk about the sorts of things I originally hoped we could. But if you want to know I'll tell you."
"Tell me, and where's Susan?"
"Susan is safe, she's actually not very far from here fast asleep in that vehicle of yours. She'll be that way until I unlock her unconscious state."
"You mean she's out there in those woods alone asleep in my car? And what do you mean unlock. What the hell is going on here?"
Benjamin let out a sigh and closed the door behind him. He walked towards the oven and turned one of the knobs.
In that moment Edward saw that he was not in a rustic cabin overlooking a forest. He was in what appeared to be a hospital room, but with very foreign features. The television was missing and the devices aligned on the wall were unlike anything he'd ever seen before. And it's then that he noticed that Benjamins form had changed as well to a lanky figure with giant oval eyes. His skin was gray, and the stove he had turned the knob on looked to be some sort of computer.
"Does that answer your question Edward?" Benjamin asked
"It only raises further ones, can you turn the knob back, I'd feel more comfortable that way."
"Not a problem" Benjamin said as he turned the knob back to the rustic cabin and Benjamins original human form.
"So what do you want from me exactly?" Edward said.
"Finally we can get down to business." As Benjamin took a seat in one of the chairs in front of him.
Edward sat up straight in the bed with his feet touching the floor and taking in the features and the looks of the man in front of him.
"As you probably guessed I'm an alien as you'd probably no doubt describe me as. My race has been coming here off and on studying your species and trying to accurately classify your species. We've been working I'll say five thousand of your years on this planet. We work in shifts, a set of us are here for a period of six months and when our time is up we get our vacation of six months back on the home planet. My apologies also, our translator isn't quite up to par, but works sufficiently enough. It's even more so difficult because our language has over twelve hundred characters."
"I see, that still doesn't answer the question of what you want with me."
"Dialogue mostly, I'm currently working on improving our translator. The more people I talk to and the greater the length of our conversations, the easier it is for me to tune it. You might say I'm a perfectionist when it comes to my baby. Baby being the translator, it was a toy I had been working on for a number of years and have only recently been able to perfect. But as you know, not everybody on your planet speaks the same language, and even those that do speak the same language don't speak the same dialect. So it's been a lot of fun meeting the lot of you, picking up jargon here and there. My greatest find was when we managed to get one of your Linguistics professors by chance. He and I talked for several hours and on multiple subjects. I learned a great deal from him about not just language but your race as well."
"So you abducted me just to talk to me?"
"Did you get Susan for the same reason?"
"At first yes, but once I turned that knob over there she wouldn't cease her hysterics. So naturally I placed her in an unconscious state and awakened you."
"I see, and you can do that with ease?"
"On a brain like your species yes."
"What do you mean?"
"Early on we were able to determine a series of frequencies that could both manipulate and control you in some ways. These frequencies aren't audible to your human ears and are a trait among my species. Some species on the home planet are immune to this, however, your species as far as I've gathered isn't. Needless to say, if I wanted to I could have you unconscious right now and have you wake up feeling like you've been asleep for days when in actuality only a matter of minutes has passed. Also if, I wished it, I could have you sing out loud and recite every song you've heard or have known since birth for my amusement. This also works with books as well. I've found that though you may not readily remember everything you've ever heard or known, the information is still stored in your brain waiting to be awakened by some form of trigger. In truth though a form of this sort of thing does exist on your planet, you call them psychics. However, lacking proper education and knowledge of their power, they never reach their full potential and are condemned to what we consider mere parlor tricks."
"Man this is fascinating, how come you guys aren't in the mainstream with the sort of technology you have and the things you know you could do wonders to help our race out."
"Ahh this old question, I can't tell you how many times I've been asked this question in my lifespan. What you're saying is very true, we could help your species out a great deal and launch you straight into a second renaissance. But here's one of the many problems with that scenario. Your species though with many of inquisitive minds like yourself, is also full of self absorbed, materialistic beings like your Susan. There's nothing wrong with them being this way, however as our interaction with your species has previously shown it has lead to disastrous consequences and millions of your own dead."
"What do you mean exactly?"
"There were points in history that we abducted people and gave them the knowledge and power believing they could bring change to your world. There were times, though few, we succeeded and quite admirably. Consequently there were also times we failed miserably. Some of your greatest Generals in history were people we'd visited. For example your Julius Caesar. We visited him when he was a young boy, bestowed upon him different aspects of knowledge to see what would happen. Though he did admirably in fighting your wars, the translations were misinterpreted and the knowledge consequently only got used to further spread your archaic wars."
"Well he was killed for it, did you guys also arrange for that?"
"Oddly enough, no. One principle we do adhere to is, if we're going to give someone or something power, we're going to see it through to the end. It did however reveal another prevailing trait in your species that limits your growth considerably, Jealousy. Had they not killed Caesar, he'd of likely had the world in his lifespan and secured it for many years to come. This was not the case, and this has happened with figures in your history throughout time. Each one teaching us something different about your species. Some more peaceful than others, which taught us even more about how your minds work and process information."
"Interesting, you definitely do have our species pegged that's for sure."
"What does that word mean pegged? I've never heard it used before."
"Oh well you pretty much know what you're talking about when it comes to our species."
"Ahh interesting, pegged, have to make a note of that."
"This is a lot for me to take in, would you mind if I just had a few moments?"
"Not at all, I'll leave for say twenty minutes and return with refreshments if that would help. Is there anything in particular I can get you? If your mind has a record of it, I can reproduce it with ease."
"I'll just take some coffee"
"Two cream, three sugars?"
"Heh, yeah just like I like it."
"Very well then, I'll be right back." Benjamin gets up from his chair and walks out the door closing it behind him.
"Man did I ever fall into the rabbit hole, I just hope I can find my way out." He said as he laid down thinking over everything he'd just heard.
Chapter 4. Hook in Mouth
"I'm Back" Benjamin exclaimed as he walked through the door with Edwards promised cup of coffee. He sat down in the same chair as before and reached to hand Edward the cup of coffee.
"Thank you" Edward said as he took the cup of coffee from Benjamins hand. He took a sip and noticed the familiarity to the way his Father used to make it.
"Wow you weren't kidding about being able to look into my brain, only my Father made it this way. He liked to add chicory to it."
"I'm glad this pleases you, now onto more pressing matters. I want you to give me your opinion on your society as it stands and how you feel your species is evolving at this point in time. Take all the time you want to answer."
"We are as you said, mostly driven by materialistic gain and financial means. But it's how the deck has been stacked, it's how our culture has evolved. You can't have nice things without money, you can't have money without a job, you can't have a job unless you fit a certain criteria for said job. And you get all that so you can be in a position to meet someone of the opposite sex and have them be interested in you. Though there are people that get all those things without fitting into what I just stated, the way of the world that I've been privy to however, has always seemed to work in that order. Most people I've met have had their primary concerns only on such subjects. Like Susan for example, when we first met she was something else. We'd stay up late talking for hours without a care in the world. We'd go out to dinner, to movies, and discuss so many different things at such great lengths. But as time progressed she began to change. She'd want me to give her more money, or ask me to buy her things more frequently. She'd start complaining about things that the previous her I knew wouldn't have even let enter her mind. And she's always pressuring me to ask for a raise at work, she said she can't live in an apartment forever."
"I see, and what does this all mean exactly?"
"Well it's just my opinion on the bulk of our species, at least from my experiences. If you ask me, we're evolving under a guise to keep us in stagnation. Though we may acquire a lot in our lives, and we may do a great many things. Most of us will never go further than those before us. And it feels more and more each year that only a chosen few are elected to rule. A chosen few, from a chosen group that's been operating in and out of existence for numbers of years. I've seen many men with great ideas and ambitions struck down, because they didn't fall into the flow of things. Because they decided to cause ripples in the river of time."
"I see, so you're saying that you don't feel there's equality among your species is that correct? That your species selects leaders from a group of individuals who don't necessarily represent your race accurately. Is this correct?"
"Well there never really has been equality right? And as far as I can tell yeah it always seems to me those in charge are just ascending the throne by way of lineage. And even those that don't ascend by lineage get propelled to the top by those with positions of power associated by their lineage. Usually because they are there kind of guy."
"No your race overall has never really had any sort of equality. You've killed each other, enslaved each other, raped, jailed, dissected and manipulated your very own brothers and sisters throughout your recorded history. No denying those facts. What of the world outside the particular place you live, I mean beyond your what is it country yes that's right."
"Well the customs usually differ, and in some countries the same model as I described exists, however some places they do live a minimalist kind of life only taking what they need and not hoarding. Language of course is one thing that does differ, as well as customs ranging from how to order a drink to how to offend your fellow man. I've never really been to many foreign lands to answer more accurately."
"Indeed, how has your country influenced this outside world?"
"Well, we've helped a great majority of it, but we've caused our share of troubles as well. I know the rest of the world almost emulates our ways of life to the point where the youth forget their own culture, and adopt aspects of the more so fun looking and easy life portrayed by our elite."
"What do you mean by elite?"
"Well our sports stars, our actors, our musicians, our writers."
"I see. Is this a positive or negative thing to you?"
"It's entrapment if you ask me. Almost circular, something to keep you busy until you fade out of existence. I don't know, not exactly the sort of thing that should be promoted I guess."
"If given the choice would you do things differently?"
"Of course I would without question."
Just then a smile came over Benjamins face and he got up from his chair and grabbed a foreign instrument out of a bag behind him, it reminded him of some sort of egg beater. He walked over to Edward and said
"I'm now going to offer you something, a choice. This device will unlock you from the world around you. Needless to say, it will pry the hook humanity implanted into your mouth. Your thinking will increase, and your abilities will be matched by your ambition to discover their depths. I didn't mention any of this before, so I could accurately assess your state of mind before granting such a power. As I had said, we had had some problems in the past with individuals some more so dangerous than others. What you do after this is up to you, the world will be your oyster, but you must also remember, the world has a defense mechanism, which will take time to be enacted once they've discovered your hook is no longer in place. So what do you say?"
Without hesitation Edward said "I accept."
Chapter 5. Set the World Afire
Benjamin applied the device and Edward immediately felt a strange sensation in his brain. His mind began to get flooded with a million ideas at once which vanished as quickly as they came. He felt so much knowledge and energy pulsing through him as if he'd been set free in some ways.
"How do you feel?" Benjamin asked
"I feel so... So alive!" He exclaimed with incredibly joy.
"I'm glad, as I said, what you do now is up to you. You can continue the life you were living and fade out into existence like so many before you. Or you can try out your new found power and attain some of that power and status we spoke of. As far as our involvement goes you'll never hear from me or any of my species again, but rest assured we are watching, we're always watching. I wish you the best of luck on your journey. In fifteen seconds you will be back on the road with Susan next to you ten minutes before we made contact."
"Alright thank you for everything Benjamin, I'll do my best to make good on the gift you've given me."
"I have a feeling you might, farewell."
Almost as if in a flashing light, Edward was where Benjamin said he'd be right next to Susan in his car while Susan was talking about the people she worked with. A smile came over Edwards face when he realized everything that had happened.
Susan glanced over at him and said "What are you smiling about?"
"Nothing he replied, I think we need to have a talk about our relationship though."
"Oh yeah, you breaking up with me are you? That's fine, I've been seeing your best friend off and on the past few months."
"I know" He said eerily with an almost preexisting knowledge
"How did you know?" She replied in shock
He quickly probed her mind and thought back on incidents where he was suspicious of foul play.
"Remember that day I came home early from work and I called you when I was outside the building and you were talking almost hurriedly?"
"When coming up the stairs someone blew past me and I thought it looked like Johnathan but didn't get a good enough look at the guy to know for sure. You told me when you got there you had just gotten back from the Gym when your Gym clothes were neatly folded and surprisingly clean for just getting back."
"Well I'm proud of what I did, I don't care if you know it or not. He's a real man and he said any time I want I can go live with him and he'll treat me the way a lady is supposed to be treated."
"Treated to your norms, and the norms you deem important."
"Damn right, wait why are you pulling into this hotel?"
Edward reached into his pocket and pulled out his wallet. He handed Susan five hundred dollars and said
"This is where we part ways, may you get everything you want out of life."
"Whatever" As she took the money and grabbed her bags from the back seat of the car.
Edward began driving off, looking at the building behind him. He watched it getting smaller and smaller in his rear view mirror until it was completely gone.
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