Estimated reading time — 6 minutes
I don’t have much time left. I have to send this message quickly. I hope somebody saw what I just did, and that they will be ready. We all have to be.
I woke up in the dark. The last thing I remembered was getting into my car on the way home from the bar. It was a bad idea, I know, but I hadn’t had that much to drink…certainly not enough to black out.
But the dark wasn’t my room, or a jail cell, or even a hospital. Even now I wish it had been any of those. It was cold here, and metallic. I was laying down.
And I couldn’t move.
It wasn’t like I was tied down or restrained. It was just that when I tried to move my arm and rub my head, which hurt like crazy, it just wouldn’t respond. My head couldn’t turn, my legs wouldn’t lift…the only time I had ever experienced something like this is when I had sleep paralysis after a horrible nightmare.
But I knew I wasn’t dreaming. I knew because I wanted so badly to wake up, and nothing changed when I tried thinking of something else. Just the dark, and the cold, and the silence.
I don’t know how long it lasted, but then I heard a noise from nearby. Then footsteps, approaching where I lay.
I waited for a light to switch on, so I could see who was holding me here. But no light came on. And the footsteps were strange. It didn’t sound like shoes, but more like bare feet. But bare feet didn’t click. My mind shot to an image of raptors with that one big toe, clacking on a tile floor, ready to rip me open.
And then, I saw it lean over me.
There was still no light. I couldn’t make out the shape of the thing as it came closer. All I saw was its eyes. Pure, blue eyes. Light shone from them. I’ve never seen eyes that lit up from the inside before. They came within an inch of my face.
I wanted to push it away and run, but I still couldn’t move. I even tried to close my eyes, but even they wouldn’t work, either.
The eyes moved away from my face, seeming to scan down the length of my body. I heard that clicking again as it moved. I guessed I must have been on a table, because as its feet moved, the clicking continued below me.
I heard something else. I think it must have pressed a button, because I could hear a hum, and my legs spasmed.
I could move again. I had never felt so relieved in my life. But I didn’t budge. I wanted to wait until just the right moment.
The eyes came back up to my face again. I heard something metallic scrape across the table, and then something cold pressed against my chest.
I wasted no more time. I raised my arms and grabbed at those eyes.
I must have surprised it. It never even tried to defend itself. I rolled off the table, with what I hoped was its head, and slammed it against the ground as hard as I could, several times. Those blue, glowing eyes went out, and I felt something wet on the ground.
I sat back, and breathed. Whatever it was, I think I killed it, or at least knocked it out. But I still couldn’t see.
I remembered that sound, though, where the thing came from. I thought it might have been a door. I could’ve been wrong, but it was a better idea than staying here.
I moved to where I thought I had heard the noise, and there was a whirring. There, finally, was some light, but it was very, very dim. I could see a hallway, and the light came from near the floor, like the running lights in a movie theater.
I couldn’t see back into the room I had just left, but I gave myself a once over. I was shirtless, but thankfully I still had the jeans I had been wearing earlier that evening. The only thing that was otherwise out of place was an object attached to my ankle, like a bracelet. It showed some kind of readout, but the shapes were in a language I had never seen before. I didn’t care what it was at the time, but I could see a button that looked like it could remove it. I pressed it, and it popped loose. It didn’t come without pain, though, since there was a number of needles on the inside that had been holding it onto me. I assumed it was some kind of medical device, but I had never seen anything like it before.
I went down the hallway. It was lined with a number of doorways, some of which opened if I went close to them, some which stayed shut. The ones that stayed closed had some kind of weird lock that I think needed a handprint, or eye scan, or something. I knew for certain I had nothing that would open them, so I looked into the rooms that would.
I didn’t run into anybody else, but all the rooms I checked were too dark to see into…except one. It was the only room that had the running lights go into it. When I went in, I thought it might have been a storeroom, but something about it felt off. It had no supplies; it just had a bunch of drawers and some large, metallic crates, all just kind of crammed into it haphazardly.
I then opened one of the drawers. It was filled with…stuff. Piles of things like clothes, wallets, cell phones, purses.
I flipped through some of the wallets. Driver’s licenses that went back decades. I even found a $50 bill printed in 1928 with a gold seal.
I heard something in the hallway. It sounded close enough that I went and hid behind a stack of boxes.
The door opened, and something came into the room.
It wasn’t one of the blue-eyed things like the one I had seen earlier. This had dark eyes, brown rimmed, with large pupils. It had a large, elongated snout, was covered in thick hair and hunched over as it walked. It seemed like it was having trouble standing on two feet as it shuffled over to the stack of crates I was behind. It grabbed one, and as it lifted it away, I could smell a thick, musky smell. It reminded me of when I went to the zoo and wandered through the farm animal exhibit.
It should have frightened me. But it didn’t. It was pathetic, and looked like it was in pain. Tears constantly ran from its eyes, and it snuffled like it was having trouble breathing. It made a lowing sound, and for a second, I could see it had two rows of flat teeth, much like a cow mixed with a shark I felt sorry for it.
I watched it leave the room with the crate, and beyond in the hallway, I watched it hobble along, carrying it to who knows where.
That was the first time I saw one of the creatures that I called ‘the Servants.’ I saw them everywhere, moving boxes, taking food from place to place, and handling little tasks.
I very rarely saw the Masters. They knew I had to be there. One of them lay dead in a room, but I somehow avoided them. They were fairly tall, at least eight feet at the shortest, and thin, and had claws on their feet and hands.
I lay in hiding, I watched everything I could, and I learned more and more. I learned about the food. The Masters ate something hideous, but the Servants ate food that I could tolerate. It kept me going.
It’s now been months that I’ve been here. I’ve seen things you cannot believe. And as of this week, I know where I am.
It’s a ship. It’s a ship from another world. I assumed it had to be, because of the language and the creatures I had seen, but I couldn’t believe it until I saw with my own eyes.
This message is coming to you from a communications room. I can’t tell you what floor it’s on, but it took time to find it, to watch how it works, to see the Servants and the Masters working with the controls.
I’m sending this message because I’m not sure my last attempt for help worked. I found this thing has a device that hides it from view, from scanners, from anything our world can use to see it. But for a minute or two, I turned it off.
When it did, a window opened. I saw we were hovering over the Pentagon. Somebody had to have seen it, had to record it on video, post it somewhere, to give me hope that we can stop them.
I don’t know what it was doing over the Pentagon, exactly. I can guess. They’re coming to get us.
They are not friendly. They haven’t come to teach us anything about interstellar life. They want to conquer.
But it’s not with bombs. It’s not with weapons.
I’ve seen how many Servants there are. Probably a third of the ship is nothing but holding pens for them. I’ve tried to talk to them. I’ve tried to get some of them to rise up and overthrow their overlords. But they don’t respond. Their minds are gone, only doing what the ship needs them to do. They have no free will of their own.
I wondered at first what planet they were from, and how they could have been so broken. But now I know the truth.
They are not a race. They are the future.
I don’t have much time because I am afraid I will be caught. I know they will find me sooner or later. But it’s because I know what is coming. I know what that bracelet on my leg was truly for.
I know, because my second row of teeth are making my mouth ache.