Something felt odd. I felt… good. I never felt good – my therapist said that I wasn’t supposed to feel good. Normally I was in a daze, but today – today I felt alert, and alive. I stared, half-confused, at the mirror across the room from me. My thin face, normally pale, was today filled with a bright red hue. With a smile on my face for the first time in years, I stepped out of bed. The accident had taken everything that I ever valued away from me, but at that moment, I just felt like I could forget it all. Like the accident never happened. Humming to myself, I brushed my teeth and showered. Cheerfully slipping into my suit, I took the steps downstairs two at a time and rushed out of my apartment. I never took the stairs double. Something really felt odd.
I got into my battered care, the old leather seats cracking uncomfortably as I sat down. The engine backfired – it always backfired – but today, I didn’t mind. I was in the sort of mood that I wasn’t ever supposed to be in, according to the tens of therapists that I had seen after the accident. For me, happiness normally translated to anger – when something happened that should have pleased me, I tended to go into an uncontrollable rage. So they made me take meds that would calm me down – meds that kept me from ever really feeling any emotions and left me in an eternal state of apathy. Something was wrong today, I thought to myself. Perhaps my medication had gotten mixed up – but I didn’t feel the least bit angry for some reason. I shrugged off the worries, looking forward to my first happy day since the accident.
I smoothly turned into the parking lot of my workplace, to a peculiar site. There was already a car in my spot – a long, dark limo that looked like it had seen better days. A helicopter rested at the far end of the lot, and as I entered the lot, two more limos briskly blocked the exit behind me. Even so, I wasn’t the least bit fazed. A voice inside me told me that today wasn’t a day for fear – I wasn’t going to let anything ruin the perfect day I was having. I parked in a coworkers spot as four men in suits slowly approached me, their hands in their dark coat jackets. As I stepped out of my beat-up jalopy, I felt more curious than anything else.
“Theo? Mr. Theo Eisaman?” a suit questioned. He stared at me, suspicion and a hint of fear in his eyes.
“That’s me!” I replied jovially. “Anything I can help you men with?”
“Sir, we’re with the government,” a second suit answered, flashing a Department of Defense badge at me. “You need to come with us.”
The last two suits came up from behind me, walking me forcefully towards the helicopter. I had always liked helicopters, but had never gotten the opportunity to ride in one. They told me that I used to be a pilot before the accident, but I didn’t remember any of that. It was ironic that I loved flying, considering the nature of my accident, but I felt a slight tug pulling me from my dazed apathy every time I got in a plane. Unfortunately, my job only sent me on long trips once a year, and I didn’t have the money for anything more.
I stepped into the helicopter at the agents’ nudge, still unsure of what I was doing. Nevertheless, I wasn’t the least bit afraid. There wasn’t really anything to be afraid of, as far as I knew. One of the agents was again staring me at me suspiciously, and I realized that I had the most unnatural smile on my face – as far as they...
I stepped into the helicopter at the agents’ nudge, still unsure of what I was doing. Nevertheless, I wasn’t the least bit afraid. There wasn’t really anything to be afraid of, as far as I knew. One of the agents was again staring me at me suspiciously, and I realized that I had the most unnatural smile on my face – as far as they knew, I had no real reason to be smiling.
“Sir, we’ll be flying to Washington today. During the flight, we’re going to need to talk about your history,” stated the suit who had spoken to me first. He seemed to be the one in charge, and up until now the least hostile.
“My history?” I replied. “Well, I only remember a decade or so of it.”
“Yes, we’ve heard about your accident. You allegedly fell out of a landing airplane under unknown circumstances, correct?”
“That’s what I’ve been told,” I shrugged. “No one ever told me what actually happened on the plane – it was apparently classified information that I didn’t have the access for. Not that it matters anymore, anyways.”
“Sir, today we received a message from an unidentifiable object in the stratosphere. It seems to be a flying saucer of sorts – we suspect that it is an elaborate prank set up by some billionaire, but there also exists the chance that there is an actual alien being inside there.”
“What does that have to do with me?”
“The message – it specifically asked for you by name.”
“I’m sure I’m not the only guy named Theo Eisaman in this country.”
“No, you’re not,” the agent replied. “But you are the only person who received the last name as an anagram for your amnesia, something that the message specifically included.”
For some reason, I didn’t feel scared or awed. I just felt happy – even happier than I was when I woke up. Something was happening to me – my life was becoming interesting, and I was totally loving it.
“Okay,” I responded. “What do you want me to do, then?”
The suit smiled at me gently. “You’re going to go up there alone in an airplane. The message says that they if we fly you close to them, they will be able to communicate with you closely. We’ll be closely monitoring you the whole time – your vitals and your communication. If anything goes wrong, just say the word and we’ll bring you down again in the airplane remotely.”
I smiled back. I was going to get to fly again – today was just getting better and better.
Within a few hours, we were at the capital of America. The helicopter landed on the roof of a tall, glass building and agents ushered me down into the monolith itself. Thirty minutes later, I was equipped with the latest flight suit and sitting in a one-seater remote controlled plane.
As I took off, eyes wide open, I felt the tug once again – but this time, it was stronger than ever. Something was drawing me out. It pulled me and the plane together, flying at an insane speed towards an ever-growing speck in the sky. As I approached closer and closer, I could see that it was an actual alien saucer, just like in the movies. The plane slowed, its VTOL capabilities allowing me to hover near the saucer. I peered out the window, only to be greeted by the most stereotypical pair of green aliens ever. They waved at me silently, and I waved back with a smile on my face.
And then, it all went white. The plane exploded all around me, yet all the pieces jettisoned away such that nothing even touched me. I was in the air, yet I was not falling – just hovering. I should have been scared out of my wits, but I wasn’t. The tug was at its strongest yet – it was irresistible. I was flying, alone and unrestrained. The saucer’s top opened, the craft still hovering, and I was jerked right into the cockpit with the cockpit as the aliens surrounded me. They were – hugging me? They seemed happy to see me, yet I heard no words from them.
And then, I felt something break inside me. There was something that had been held back in my mind all this time, and it was gone now. Theo, I heard a voice inside me. Its us, your family. Do you remember us? I felt my mind reaching out, sensing my two green friends even as I stood stunned, memories of before the accident flooding back into me. It was staged – the whole accident was staged. I was one of them myself, an alien who had undergone years of surgery after being selected for the specific task of learning about the humans of Earth – no, the