Author : Jamie Grefe

It doesn’t take them long to do it, just eye contact. Once they do, and those eyes are locked, instant transmission — you disappear.

I’m not sure if this is just the way my own programming reacts to this planet, but something has happened. I was on the shuttle to the west quadrant. One of them sitting across from me, he must have known. I could feel his pink eyes from across the aisle, just took me raising my head, unblinking, and when he had me, I was back on the ship, except it wasn’t the ship, it was the inside of a brain. The walls were smeared, drenched in rotten grey mucus. There was red light, a table, a bed. It was McKinney’s bed, and he was there, looked like him — strapped down — a button in the middle of the table. I kept hearing this whisper under my tongue, saying, “push,” over and over. Was all I could hear, just moved to the table, pushed it. When I pressed that button, my self, my being, me…I fell apart. I could feel this body being stretched, ripped, splattered, enveloped by some force. The next thing I know is I’m standing in the station, shuttle doors closing, and that one, those pink eyes, he’s at the doors, one of his hands touching the window and I look — there is blood on his fingertips, which is when I notice blood on my fingers, too.

And it gets worse.

When I go to look for the bathroom, it’s like they all know. Everyone is staring, whispering, children point. In the bathroom, there’s this lady on the floor, twitching, hurt or something, vomiting, pool of blood leaking from her body and when I go to pick her up, turn her over, the lights go out, I’m back in the brain room, except this time it’s not McKinney on the bed, but it’s me. I’m strapped down.

You’re there, too. Yeah, you’re standing where I was standing, but now it feels like it happened years ago and I don’t know how I know it’s you, but I do, am certain of it. And when you walk to that table, I’m opening my mouth, telling you not to do it, but you don’t stop. I remember thinking, what if the transmissions are linked and we just haven’t been able to figure out how they do it and they know this, so they kill us whenever they can, make us kill each other and then we, because we don’t know, blame our own faulty systems and repeat the process . . . what I mean is, what if we are misdiagnosing the problem? This must be it, but you, in that room, just won’t listen and I scream your name. You don’t do anything except hold out your hand, press the button and I can’t forget your eyes. They were pink, you were crying, your face asleep, and you looked like the one on the shuttle. Was it you? Please tell me.

I don’t know what happened to McKinney or Johnson or Brooks or Phillips. But, you won’t believe me, will you? That’s why I’m sending this from The South. I’ve met an ex-employee, says he can program a new girl identity so I won’t have to live with the guilt of these accusations about how I murdered McKinney and the rest of them.

And, if it was you in the room or on the shuttle, don’t worry. I know you couldn’t help it. Your tears told me everything.


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