Author : Charity Bradford
Time moved toward a decision that would affect millions of lives. They needed more information and there was only one way to gather it. Someone must be chosen to be their eyes and ears. A human counterpart would process the emotions. Then the decision.
They watched the earth as a whole for a thousand years, and then focused on individual lives for another hundred. The chosen one waited patiently as his leaders decided on a human female. After watching the female for weeks, they recognized the signs of her pain even though they did not comprehend the sensation or meaning of it. She packed her bags and started to drive. She was utterly alone…and perfect.
A deer in the headlights, swerving, rolling, hanging upside down with tears running down her cheeks, and a melancholy love ballad crackling on the radio. This is how they met her in the flesh. Humans were so fragile. They cut. They made improvements, implanted the sensor relay connecting her to the chosen one, wiped her memory and returned her to the earth. A new start. A last chance to understand. When she woke in the hospital, she remembered nothing, not even her name, and they began to watch through her eyes.
Everyone watched the visual and audio feed, but only the chosen one received all the sensory data. Sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch. For the first time in his twenty three hundred years he felt something. The cold metallic edge of fear and a blanket of gray wretchedness began to cover him as it slid through the relay. He tried to shrug off the heaviness, but it only settled lower into his chest. The darkness formed itself into a ball and slipped between his clenched lips. The sound of sorrow shattered the silence of millennia. All eyes turned toward him with the same question swimming in their fathomless depths. How?
Thin fingers wrapped around an elongated neck, probing for understanding. Vocal chords unused for generations awakened at the first stirrings of emotion. One small moan and they throbbed with new pain, delighted to be needed again.
“I did not think, or take action to cause the sound. It happened in response to” there were no words in their vocabulary to describe the sensations, “what I feel.”
The relay works, but vocalization is unexpected. Keele, the expedition leader continued to study the chosen one.
The emotions are strong, heavy. I do not understand how humans can function with them. Even his mind voice quivered as the emotions continued to fill him.
Ketani, you are the chosen one. You will endure and you will decide the fate of this planet. We will enclose you for protection. Keele waved to those standing around, and Ketani felt himself being helped into a stasis room. The stark room curved around him like a womb, undulating in random patterns to sooth and comfort. The others set him gently on the floor and walked away. He tried to stand and follow them out, but the flood of emotions coming from the female weighed him down.
Please, I can not do this alone! Don’t leave me alone.
The door closed. In light of his own solitude, he began to understand the source of the female’s fear and anxiety. Once more his vocal chords vibrated with the sound of emotions too physically powerful to hold inside a thought.
The 365 Tomorrows Free Podcast: Voices of Tomorrow
This is your future: Submit your stories to 365 Tomorrows