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It didn’t even hurt that much.  Just felt like I had the wind knocked out of me.  Only it was my consciousness.  When I woke up, I found myself in what I felt was like a hospital bed, only it was a hospital bed in a cell of some kind.  So, as I looked around, I wondered if it was just a really posh prison or a really weird hospital.  There was a console to the left of my bed which was really just a touchscreen which displayed my bio data, or life signs and whatever.  The walls of my cell weren’t bars, but some sort of almost completely transparent material that I would, at one point, learn was very tough stuff.  I looked toward my feet and, at first, thought my cell was open to the hallway.  But no—the front wall of my cell was made of the same nearly transparent stuff the other walls were made of.  It was surreal because I could see people walking down the hallway but I could hear nothing.  If I squinted, I could see hint of their reflections in the walls.  There was the vague hint of a sliding door.

I looked to my left and saw him.  It was Wise strapped to a bad that looked more like a crucifix.  The mattress he lay on was almost literally a cross with a cross-sized mattress on it.  It did not look comfortable for him.  The other issue with him was that he looked badly roughed up.  His face was bruised and bloody. 

Oh yeah—that was the other thing—we were both naked.  They let me have sheets, but not Wise.  It was rough seeing him—or anyone like this.

I pulled the sheet from my chest and saw that there was a big pink patch of skin where I had felt the stun gun blast knock the consciousness out of me.  I looked back at Wise and then back out at the people walking down the hallway.  It was like they couldn’t see us.  Or maybe they could be just didn’t care that we were here.  I didn’t want to believe living beings could be that callous.

I say “people” but these beings did not look like humans.  Well, some of them did, two arms, two legs, but others were different.  Two legs and six tentacles or four legs and two arms, or four tentacles that could work as any human-style limb if they wanted to.  I couldn’t help but smile.  Seeing aliens like this—it was just something I couldn’t help but be pleased with.  We humans always like to think we’re the center of it all but we keep getting proven wrong.

For some reason, I glanced back over at Wise and could see his eyes were open.  I instinctively started to climb out of bed but before I got too far, instinctively, I grabbed the bed sheet and pulled it from the bed, quickly wrapping it around me like a toga.
I walked up to the nearly transparent wall and called out to him.

His name just bounced off of the wall.  I yelled his name a few more times and he did not react.  Could he even see me?  I couldn’t tell at first.  Finally, he looked right at me and smiled.

“Can you hear me?” I said.  He shrugged in response.

“Is that a yes, Wise?  Can you hear me?”

He gave me a defeated look and shook his head.  He then spoke, but I couldn’t hear him.  I held my hand up to my right ear like I was trying to hear him.  He shook his head again and then spoke again, this time moving his lips in a dramatic fashion.  I looked at them move and could barely make out.  “Read my lips.”


I nodded.  He took a breath and closed his eyes.  After a moment, he opened them and looked right at me and spoke.  “You have to find a way to kill me.”