A BIGGER BRAIN
James suddenly felt his extremities again and he stopped screaming, realising his body had been reformed. He dropped his hands and relaxed then the thought occurred to him that he might be missing something.
He slapped every part of his body and nothing seemed out of place, he felt his heart and found it beating, his stomach was churning and apparently his brain was working fine. The only thing that seemed to be wrong was tingling lines he felt on the left side of his face. He scratched his cheek and the feeling went away.
He got his bearings and he saw that he was no longer standing in the industrial estate, but in a three walled room, more like an alcove, that branched off a corridor. Opposite James could see another room just like the one he was in and to his left an oval shaped door.
Wherever he was, it was like no place he had ever been to before. A slight mist coiled around his legs warming his feet. There were no lights that he could see illuminating the area, it was as if the air itself gave off light and not a single shadow could be seen anywhere. The walls and floors were white and as smooth as a beach pebble and showed no lines of construction.
James had never seen something so unusual, so...alien.
He was still wet from the rain and his soaked clothes starting to irritate and chill his skin. Such feelings were adding to his confusion, he had gone from one place to another in the same speed as a Text, and probably the same way. He had been deconstructed and reformed by a space ship, which meant only one thing.
It all hit him rather suddenly, the enormity of what had just happened and the fear and the awful knowledge that he had just been...abducted by aliens.
This is not possible, he thought to himself backing up against the far wall of the room, where the hell am I? He then felt some pressure on his forehead and when he touched it he found something stuck to his skin. It felt rough and circular and was warm and he also detected a slight vibration from it.
James was unsure what to do, he needed help.
He took out his mobile phone and turned it on and quickly tapped in his pin code, there was no service. He cursed and put the phone away.
James moved towards the corridor and the oval door, but just as he crossed the threshold of his room, his legs seemed to disappear.
He lost all feeling in them and they decided to stop holding up his body as he collapsed onto the floor, totally paralysed.
‘What the…’ he said as he lay on the floor amongst the mist that coiled around him, it smelled of freshly cut grass. He desperately tried to move his arms and legs, but they remained unmovable.
James heard the oval door slide open, but he couldn’t lift his head to see who had come through.
‘It tried to escape,’ a slimy voice said.
‘It didn’t know what it was doing,’ said another high pitched voice.
‘Give it back its movement,’ the slimy voice said.
James heard a beeping noise and control of his legs and arms returned to him and he could move again and so he sat up and his eyes boggled.
He was looking at an enormous slug that had reared up its upper body like a snake. Its skin glistened with slime, which pooled around where its body met the floor. It had crossed two sets of arms in front on its chest as if it was waiting impatiently for a bus. On its head were its eyes that were on stalks either side of a bony crest that ran half way down its back. It was wearing a waistcoat embroidered with outrageous colours.
The other creature was shaped like a giant light bulb with a massive bulbous head and narrow torso. The torso had four legs with triple joints extending from it and the creature bobbed up and down on as if it was on a spring. The head enclosed a huge eye the size of a football with five pupils. From the top of the head extended two arms, one of which occasionally wiped the massive eye with the same squeaking noise a car wind screen wiper makes when it wipes away rain.
James recoiled in disgust, these things were hideous and he backed up towards the far wall away from them. ‘What do you want with me?’ he nervously stammered.
‘You are here because we teleported you off your primitive planet,’ the slug replied with globs of slime spraying from its mouth slurring its speech.
James looked around the cell. ‘Where am I?’
There was a slight squeak as the light bulb rubbed its eye again.
‘A space ship called the Whorrak,’ it responded. Its attempts to speak English didn’t sound right, like it was fishing for the words in its brain. They didn’t flow naturally when it spoke.
‘So we are in space right now?’ James asked.
There was another squeak and another rub before the aliens responded. ‘We’re just passing the fourth planet in your solar system.’
‘Mars we’re going right past Mars already,’ James exclaimed. ‘No that’s impossible all this is impossible, let me out of here,’ and James ran at them ready to push himself past the aliens, but he had forgotten about the device on his head and it immediately shut his body down and he collapsed onto his face.
‘This isn’t right this can’t be happening let me go,’ James said hysterically.
‘I told you it wouldn’t comprehend,’ the light bulb shaped alien said.
‘Should have gone for an adult version of their race it was a shame we had to pick this one, there were other, better possibilities. We will have to perform the mind expansion,’ the slug said.
‘Pick me for what?’
‘First let’s test it,’ one of them said ignoring him.
‘Can you multiply large prime numbers?’
‘What?’ James replied in shock and still lying face down on the floor.
‘Answer the question we want to know how fast your brain processes information.’
‘How many digits can you memorise within ten seconds,’ the light bulb asked.
‘Answer the questions,’ the slug said.
‘I don’t know I can’t do such complicated mathematics and memory tricks in my head,’ James said. ‘What does it matter?’
‘It’s a normal test of brain power for a class four life form, obviously your closer to a class ten,’ was the reply.
Because James was lying face down he couldn’t see what happened next. He heard a click and the back of his head felt hot.
‘It’s just as we thought, this scan shows his mind is too under developed,’ the light bulb said, this time ignoring him completely.
‘Yes we should have got our hands on an adult,’ the slug said again.
‘I’m still here you know,’ James remarked.
Still ignoring him the aliens continued to chat amongst themselves. ‘As I said we will have to perform the mind enhancing technique to make sure it doesn’t go insane and can operate effectively on a star ship.’
‘Can you help me,’ James screamed at them from the floor.
The aliens then spoke in their own language, which sounded to James like someone blowing their nose. He still lay on the floor completely immobile getting more worried by the minute then they spoke again in English.
‘Put it to sleep, then we will take it to the lab,’ he heard one alien say.
‘No,’ James said but then he heard another beeping sound then the device on his head beeped as well.
James’ vision blurred for moment then he fell unconscious.
When he woke he was in a chair suited for a creature much larger than he was. As he tried to move around he realised that his arms and feet were tightly fastened to the chair and something was resting on his head. His seat was really uncomfortable not because of its shape but because of his wet clothes, which were making his skin feel clammy and sore.
‘Mede, attach the electrodes,’ a slimy voice said.
‘Isto scan the subject’s brain we have to make sure it won’t die when we start the procedure.’
‘I think that we are now ready I’ve taken a DNA sample of the subject, record number 41-13-14.’
James was feeling groggy but he could at least put names to those alien voices, the slug with the slimy voice was called Isto that meant Mede was the light bulb shaped one. Listen to me I’m talking about aliens, this is not happening! James thought to himself.
As his eyes opened he saw that he was in a laboratory of some sort. All kinds of medical equipment were lying around and it was all carved from clear pieces of crystal. A huge specimen table was in the centre of the room and hanging over it was all surgical tools on extendable arms. Directly in front of him stood a tall machine that was beeping and clicking as its internal workings processed information. Mede and Isto were busy tinkering with the machine pressing buttons on its surface and pulling levers. As James followed the wires leading from the machine he saw that they slowly led up towards him and he realised that they were connected to the thing on his head.
‘What are you going to do with me?’ he asked and the aliens turned their attention to him.
‘It’s awake,’ Isto said lazily, slime flying everywhere.
‘What are you going to do with me?’ James asked again.
‘We are going to increase your memory capacity and your brain’s processing power,’ Mede said and he rubbed his eye again with a free arm.
‘Err how?’ James asked.
‘Well we’re going to increase it by fifteen percent giving you access to subconscious parts of your brain that harness memory, then you will be able to use the advanced technologies we have and you humans don’t, we don’t have time to teach you in a classroom,’ Mede said. ‘The process is surprisingly simple to effect on a race such as yours. It requires some restructuring and an increase of oxygen going into the brain with some specially tainted blood we will give you.’
‘You’re going to make me clever?’
‘No, in fact I don’t think we can,’ Mede answered.
James felt insulted.
‘Mostly your memory will be enhanced; when we need you to use some of our technology the knowledge to operate it will be there in your head ready to be retrieved.’ Mede continued.
‘It was a pity your race was so primitive otherwise we wouldn’t have to do this,’ Isto mocked.
‘Why would I want to know how to use your technology?’ James said defiantly.
‘You’ll need to if you are to be a slave,’ Mede responded.
‘I won’t become a slave,’ James replied.
‘If you don’t then you will be disposed of,’ Mede countered.
James could think of nothing more to say either way he didn’t like his options.
Mede and Isto continued their work on the machine and when they finished fifteen red bars appeared on a small screen.
Fear completely gripped James. Everything was so weird, so completely impossible.
‘It’s ready,’ Isto said to Mede.
‘Then let’s get this over and done with.’
Both aliens manipulated the controls on the machine then turned to face James to watch the results. The machine clicked and hummed until finally its inner workings started to come to life, powering up getting ready for whatever action it was going precede with.
The whole room, possibly the whole ship, suddenly shook violently.
Isto and Mede were thrown about while James was shunted around in his chair.
‘What was that?’ Isto shrieked.
‘It felt like something struck the ship,’ Mede said.
The ship shuddered and vibrated flinging them all around again. ‘It could be asteroids or a small meteorite storm,’ Mede suggested picking himself up off the floor.
‘Well don’t just stand there let’s get to the pilot’s station and avoid any more of whatever this is,’ Isto ordered.
Both aliens then slithered and walked out of the laboratory leaving James tied to the chair waiting for the machine to do its work. But he wasn’t going to wait. He tried frantically to pull at the straps around his hands he even tried using his teeth. When that failed he started shaking his head as hard as he could to throw off the thing that was on top of it.
He was interrupted when the ship was struck again by whatever was outside, it was must have been really big since the impact caused the machine connected to James’ head to tip over and fall onto its side as did a number of others in the room. The instruments hanging down from the ceiling above the specimen table swung about with each collision.
James stared at the machine connected to his head and hoped that it was broken. But it wasn’t - instead the fifteen red bars disappeared and were replaced by fifty red bars. ‘Uh oh,’ James said. He didn’t exactly know what was going to happen when the machine did its job but he didn’t like the fact that the number had suddenly increased like that.
‘Erm guys,’ James called out, for once wanting Mede and Isto back in the room.
No one replied.
‘GUYS,’ James shouted out, but still no response.
He stared at the machine as it continued to power up, charging in order to perform its task. Then the sounds from the machine stopped, James waited for something to happen but he felt nothing. He sighed in relief grateful that the machine had failed to activate, he would have wiped his forehead of sweat if his hands weren’t strapped down.
Then the machine switched back on.
It crackled with energy and James’ head almost exploded.
He yelled in pain, it felt as if his skull was being crushed. He could feel the blood in his veins pulse as the machine seemed to toil and shift his brain around. The pain continued to build up in his head as more energy was pumped into his skull. He screamed until his breath ran out and he soundlessly exclaimed his torture unable to take a breath. His body became exhausted and weak then he lost consciousness, slumping down in his chair as the machine sparked and finally fizzled out.
The room was quiet apart from the few impacts of small asteroids on the ship’s hull. Then the pounding stopped completely and soon afterwards Mede and Isto returned to the lab.
‘That’s the last time we travel through a solar system with this many comets travelling through it,’ Isto said to Mede.
‘I agree, although it wouldn’t be so bad if you hadn’t set the ship’s autopilot to fly straight through one their tails,’ he replied. It was then that he noticed the machine lying on the floor and James slumped in his chair unconscious.
‘What happened here?’ Mede exclaimed.
Both aliens rushed forward to inspect the equipment. ‘It must have fallen over when we were hit,’ Isto suggested. ‘But it seems as though it completed its task,’ his eyes flickered about on their stalks to look at James.
‘Pathetic human, it couldn’t even stand up to a fifteen percent Mind Expansion,’ Isto commented shaking his head.
‘Let’s un-strap him and return him to his cell,’ said Mede and together they took off James’ binders and removed him from his chair.
The machine he had been hooked up to displayed the words FIFTY PERCENT INCREASE COMPLETE.
Mede and Isto didn’t notice.