October 3, 2015 § 2 Comments
The Professor led me down the hallway, detailing the process of nuclear re-fusion along the way. I had just finished a cup of very strong coffee, and my heart was racing just a little too uncomfortably fast. I could feel it thumping through every part of my body and the intricacies of rapid particle collisions were lost to the rhythmic pounding.
I focused up as we reached Room 0007, one of the farthest down this hall. Stevenson’s basement rooms were arranged randomly, leading to much confusion in my initial visits to these tunnels. The Professor inserted a key into the chromatic door, looked straight into my eyes, and said, “Now pay careful attention in this room.”
I always have to pay careful attention, I groaned to myself. He opened the door to reveal a room of researchers sitting in front of numerous computer screens. A thin man with wiry grey hair entered the room from an opening on the right and smiled at The Professor. “Doc, you made it!” he exclaimed.
I’d never heard anyone call The Professor ‘Doc,’ before. It sounded weird on him.
“This is Dr. Thompson,” The Professor introduced me to his colleague, before motioning to the rest of his lab, “And this is his team.”
After handshakes were exchanged, The Professor continued, “Dr. Thompson, why don’t you show us your experiment.”
“Gladly,” replied the doctor, leading us into the next room, where a large, touchscreen computer monitor was mounted on the wall. He pulled up a few video files that were saved under odd names like “(..)-/]” or “C29>>+1”. I didn’t have enough time to pick out any patterns.
“Within this lab is the only member of the Alienus Interventrus in human captivity. It is one of the more intrusive alien species that we’ve encountered. It is suspected that over half of reported “Abduction” cases are the work of these guys, and because of that we’ve nicknamed them the “Probers.” The experiment we are running is a peculiar one.”
He pulled up a screen with a greenish, greyish figure sitting at a control panel. The alien had no clothes on, and I could see that it was only a few feet tall but incredibly lanky. It swiveled in its chair to reveal a guitar-pick-shaped head with large, circular eyes and no nose, only nostrils. Straight outta Area-51.
Dr. Thompson waved at the screen, “See, he doesn’t even know we are here. When he crash landed we got to him before he woke up, and by the time he came to, we were able to put him in an environment exactly like his ship. He thinks he just had a momentary lapse in memory and is still flying around in space.”
“The best part is that he thinks he captured a human,” Dr. Thompson smirked, “He thinks he’s actually performing tests on humans right now, through our simulator. In reality, he’s the one being tested.” Dr. Thompson chuckled heartily and waited until The Professor and I did the same, letting us know the cosmic irony of all this was appreciated in this lab.
Afterwards, he showed me the various simulations that they ran. The alien seemed interested in how humans reacted to being left in isolation for long periods of time and then promised freedom in exchange for loyalty. In other tests, the Prober simply enjoyed toying with humans with various earthly instruments. Hair straighteners were used to tickle the simulations to exhaustion and banana peels were used to slap the simulations until they were conditioned to fear the color yellow. This cruel little alien was quite confusing in his investigation, but at least he was thorough in the scientific method. In fact, he kept detailed notes and wrote out detailed procedures. It was almost like he was turning in a lab notebook to Dr. Thompson.
I thought it was kind of strange to keep this poor lifeform cooped up, but the research seemed fruitful. On our way out, The Professor explained to me that Dr. Thompson’s work had helped in relieving symptoms of Post Traumatic Alien-Related Stress Disorder. Because of that, the biggest PTARSD ward in the country was right under Vanderbilt Medical Tower East. I laughed; that’s where I get my physicals done.