Close Encounters, Chapter 1

Chapter 1

 

 

 

Alienation.

 

 

 

You’re alone.

 

 

 

Or so you thought.  Or so you hoped.

 

 

But you’re never really alone.  How big is the universe?  Did you really think we were alone?  There was no such thing as alienation.  No.  Better yet, it’s more likely an alien nation.

 

You’re on a bed.  I’m naked as the day I was born.  My dick soft next to me.  I realize I’ve been completely shaved.  No pubic hairs in sight.   There are these creatures around you.  Creatures you’ve never seen.  They speak a language you never heard.  Grays.  That’s the only way I can describe them.   There are several around me.  The big guy next to me is squatting down lower, still looking into my eyes. One of the Grays on the far side of the table comes around to my viewing side and picks up a thing which is lying on the table.

 

 

 

“What is that?”  I panicked, “What the fuck is that?”

 

 

It is a rod of some sort, about twelve to thirteen inches long. It is silver on three-fourths of it and black on the rest of it. A dull, flat, black color.   Before I realize it the other Grays gather around my legs.  They lift them.

 

 

 

They stare at my puckering asshole as though it’s hiding some sort of secret.  As though they are working for the airlines and I’m hiding drugs up there.  They are staring at my asshole as though they are harvesting farts or maybe as though my prostate bears a striking resemblance to their alien gods.

 

As though they want to worship my booty hole.

 

 

 

They spread the cheeks apart.  One cheek at a time.  It’s so cold.

 

 

 

“What is that?” I’m panicking, “What is that?”

 

 

He is going to insert that into my rear end. God!  My ass is so sensitive to the touch.  He inserts it to about what looks like a four-inch depth and again, leaves it there for about ten seconds and then pulls it out. He is looking at something on the side of that tube.

 

 

 

Then again.

 

 

And again.

 

 

And I’m moaning.  I’m in pain.

 

 

 

 

“Ugh…” I moan out loud.

 

 

 

I wake up and realize I’m not on some experimental table being abducted by aliens.   The feeling of enjoying the anal probe is both frightening and almost realistic but I’m actually in class.

 

 

 

“The Reparations will feature someone born in 2040…”

 

 

 

Echoes race out through the kids in my class.  We all turn away from the Government official who spawns in the corner of the class.  It isn’t a real person, well, it is…but the official really isn’t here.  It’s a hologram.  As soon as the hologram announces the date, it disappears as though it was never there.

 

 

 

That year was 20 years ago.  The year is 2060.  I just so happen to be 20 years old.  On 2nd Earth, we go to school until we are 30 because of the expanded knowledge we’re expected to learn.  A girl in the front of the class is tearing up.  Our teacher doesn’t provide any real assurance to the girl.  He doesn’t even look at her.  He opens his notebook and scribbles down the date as though there was something he needed to follow up on.  I can’t help but continue to watch her.  Blue tears spill out of her like rainbow piss down her purple cheek.  It doesn’t really surprise anyone to see a 6’5” purple alien girl in school.

 

 

 

Aliens are fuckin’ real.  They’ve been real for a while.

 

 

 

Everyone was really alien here.  Priors were always purple.  They were tall, lean.  Of all the species that migrate to 2nd Earth, they were the only ones who couldn’t really pass for human.   There is one other Prior girl…or boy…or something that goes to calm her down.  They are clicking back and forth to one another in their foreign tongue even though it is frowned on to use any other language but English in the schools nowadays.

 

 

 

Whispers formulate in the class.  The Purple Prior girl isn’t the only one tearing up.  Not even close to it.   I hear the boys in front of me talking.  The bigger one is tearing up too.

 

“You know what this means,” Fox Woods whispers to Nazareth Lawson, “We lost the lotto. They chose our birthday.  Someone our age is going to be the sacrifice.”

 

The majority of the other students are feeling unsteady getting on their mobile devices as mini-hologram figures of their parents pop up.  So many tears.  Everyone was reacting.  Everyone was whispering.  Everyone was talking.  Everyone except me.  I stare at them with the same reaction that my teacher has.

 

 

 

“It could be you.  It could be me.  It could be any of us,” Naz says back, “We still have a chance.  We still have hope.”

 

That was the thing about Nazareth Lawson.  He never let you see him sweat.  It’s a cruel joke in a way.  Just feet away from me was the sexiest man in the galaxy and I’d never spoken to him.  I’d never even thought about it.  You ever notice someone who is a natural born leader.  That’s Naz.  His best friend Fox is handsome but awfully forgettable.  Not like Naz.  Naz is unforgettable.  It sends shivers up my spine just thinking about how powerful a man’s presence can be.  Whether he and his friends were going out boycotting the government or if he was just sitting around in this deep dedicated thought…I knew he had a purpose.  He had the purpose of someone great.  It was the complete opposite of me.

 

 

 

“What if it’s me?” Fox asks, “I’m going to be the annual sacrifice.  I’m going to die.  You know what that means.”

 

Naz doesn’t flinch.  All brawn.  All beauty.  He’s black, white and Asian, which is more common now because the human races have all mixed in really.  I guess when you’re surrounded with other aliens the few differences you had once don’t matter.  Naz is a perfect example of what it looks like to be mixed.   His skin tone is chestnut, his lips are so big that I’d seen girls in the class look at it.  He has a man bun and the sides of his hair are shaved off.  A top knot is formed on top of the head and tied to create a knotted look. His hair is dyed purple.  The sides are shaved with a high skin fade.   It’s rebellious, just like him.

 

 

 

“It’s not gonna be you.  They haven’t given out the names yet.  They haven’t given out the names.  So calm down.”

 

“Calm down?  Everyone’s freaking out all of over the school.   There are a lot of people born in 2040.”

 

“He’s calm…” Naz says.

 

 

 

He turns and looks at me as an example to his friend.  Naz.  It’s the first time I think we made eye contact.  I didn’t even know he knew I existed.  Hearing him use me as an example to comfort his friend was different, to say the least.  Both boys turn to me.

 

Fox isn’t even slightly impressed.

 

 

 

“He’s a Familiar.  He doesn’t have any fucking emotions!”

 

Familiar.  It’s my race.

 

 

 

See… I am not human. Shocker right?

 

 

 

I look like it. From my bubbly eyes to the brown hair on the top of my head. I have a dick between my legs. Nothing amazing about it. I jack off in the shower just like a human.

 

 

 

I wasn’t human.

 

The fact that Fox knew anything about me blew my mind.  He was one of the popular people in school and honestly they spent most of their time ignoring me as though I was never there.   Familiar wasn’t really a term of endearment around these parts.  Familiar is another alien race.  When Fox says what he says my heart turns a little.  I was only half Familiar.  I was also half human.  I can’t say that to them right now though.  Familiars weren’t really all that popular around the school and honestly, it was for good reason especially with all the shit that happened.

 

 

 

Naz is staring at me.  His eyes dig into me as though trying to read me, “What’s your name man?”

 

 

 

“Shiloh.”

 

 

 

“Speak louder.  I can’t hear you.  You damn near whispering.”

 

“Maybe he doesn’t speak good English,” Fox adds in as though I’m invisible, “Never actually heard the Alien say anything in class.”

 

The way he calls me ‘the Alien’ isn’t only offensive but it’s inaccurate.  The planet we lived on  2nd Earth.  They didn’t come from this planet. They were aliens here too. Honestly, they wouldn’t even have known this planet existed if it wasn’t for the Familiars.  The Earth was destroyed along with so many other planets by an alien race called the Upsetters.  When that happened…shit changed.

 

 

 

I speak a little louder, just barely over a muffle, “My name is Shiloh.”

 

“Shiloh.  I like it,” Naz states, “The Lord says: Go now to my place that was in Shiloh, where I made my name dwell at first, and see what I did to it because of the evil of my people Israel.”

 

Fox raises his eyebrow, “What the fuck is that?  A song?”

 

“It’s the bible.”

 

“You mean the old religion book.  People still read those?”

 

“You’re embarrassing me, man.  What will the Familiar think of humans?  Of course, our religion still exists, just because you only worship pussy.”

 

“Pussy and booze.  Both of which I am in dire need of since the announcement that I may end up a fucking sacrifice.”

 

“Shiloh, ignore him,” Naz turns to me.  He smiles.  It’s a wonderful smile, “Did you know Shiloh, that in the Old Testament, Shiloh was the name of a gathering place for the Hebrew people during the time of the Judges. Shiloh was said to be a place of sanctuary.  It means “tranquil.”  Did you know that?”

 

 

 

I don’t respond.

 

“He doesn’t understand you.”

 

“He understands; don’t you Shiloh?”  Naz asks.

 

 

 

I don’t respond.

 

 

 

A few seconds pass and Fox punches him, “Goddam it Naz.  Just like you to prefer talking to the first mute person you can find in our moment of distress.”

 

~

 

 

 

 

 

The bell rings.  School is out.  I realize that it isn’t until later this night that the names of the possible sacrifices will be released.   This has caused people to panic.  It happens every year, but every year I’m watching it from the safety of a hologram or screen somewhere.  It never happened around me.  This time, I was in the midst of it.  It was affecting people of my age.

 

I struggle to get down the steps.  I didn’t have any friends.  There was panic in the look of everyone.  Panic and high fucking emotion!

 

As I try to get out of the school I notice the shops, government official buildings, banks and even residential properties nearby had been ransacked and torched.

 

 

 

“BURN THIS SHIT DOWN!”  I hear a voice scream out, “END Reparations!”

 

END REPARATIONS

 

End Reparations!

 

 

 

 

 

They were humans.  They usually always were human.  I watch as young humans were still emerging from shops into the hot 2nd Earth sunshine, stuffing bags and trolleys with stolen goods from the school and running into back streets.  Firefighters struggled to contain a blaze next door by a government building.  There is another fire in a building just a few hundred yards away, housing a carpet store. Both were huge fires that – apart from the rioting – would have made significant news events in themselves.

 

 

 

 

 

I get out of the school.  My heart is throbbing.  My eyes looking around desperately for a way to break out of this crowd of angry students.

 

 

 

“Move Familiar!”  a voice pushes me out the way.

 

The person knocks me down.  They are running towards the statue of someone.  They are trying to take it down, connecting it to ropes.  I watch as the police try to gather around and stop this but it’s so much going on that as soon as they arrest one person another 20 come to attempt to take the statue down.

 

 

 

The crowd is growing so big that I think I’m about to get trampled.  They push! They shove! I want to scream out but I’m lost. Who gives a fuck about the quiet familiar kid that barely spoke? More pushing! I feel my chest cave in! Fuck!  I probably woulda been a fuckin’ Antlien sex victim—squashed and trampled, that is— if it wasn’t for a hand grabbing me and quickly pulling me up to my feet and out of danger before I can get anywhere close to the flames.

 

“You OK?”

 

I turn and see Naz.  He must have been right behind me after class and I’d been so distracted with the riots that I hadn’t noticed.  Him grabbing me and pulling me out of the way doesn’t stop my heart from beating extra hard especially because now he was grabbing onto my arm.

 

I nod.  No words. Just a nod.

 

“Shy Shiloh,” he acknowledges with this portrait face that makes my dick jump, “Be careful.  You’re too cute to be trampled.”

 

I hear him right?

 

It was goddam loud. “You think I’m cute.”

 

He laughs at the thought, “I’ve always thought you were cute.  You just made me kind of…nervous.”

 

“I…made you nervous?”

 

“You gonna repeat everything I say…”

 

“I’m gonna repeat —fuck…”

 

 

 

I shut up. There is chaos all around us but right now the biggest tempest is in my underwear especially with him standing inches away from me, still holding me.  He keeps looking up at me.

 

 

 

“You’re always so quiet.  I don’t really know how to handle really shy people,” he explains blushing a little red.

 

Was…was he nervous?

 

I couldn’t imagine it.  Here was the sexiest man in the galaxy flirting with me and it’s some cruel joke.  I’d seen other guys flirting with him.   I had assumed that everyone was attracted to him.  There had been one rumor I overheard that he was dating some guy named Lionel who was this human athlete, but I thought they were just talking trash because they were intimidated by Naz.

 

 

 

“I’m…nobody.”

 

“Everybody’s somebody.  Everyone’s life is important,” he says, “Don’t ever say that.  I see you looking at me.  Always wondered if the chemistry was real.  Is it?”

 

I’m quiet.  I don’t say anything.

 

He laughs.

 

“Didn’t expect a response, Shy Shiloh,” he says, “So fuck it.  I’m just going to find out.”

 

That’s when it happens.  That’s when Naz pulls me in and kisses me.  His brown tanned lips are so soft when he presses up against me.  He kisses me with the backdrop of burning buildings and screaming protestors.  It was madness and it was fucking amazing.  His wet tongue comes into my mouth and his hands circle around the back of my head.  I feel a madness all inside of my body.  My heart is just racing.  I feel as though the Galaxy has finally stopped being so cruel.  It was all worth it for this one sweet moment.

 

 

 

“Damn…” is all I can say.

 

After he kisses me he just looks at me.  I look back at him.  It’s so tranquil between us.  He doesn’t seem to care that I’m not the most popular boy.

 

“You didn’t punch me, so I’m assuming you didn’t mind?” he asks.

 

 

 

I’m so nervous at this point, “I…I…”

 

Say something Shiloh!  Tell the boy that you have been just as attracted to him as he was to you.  Tell him that you love the way he smells.  You love the way he smiles.  You love his purple man bun.  You loved the shaved sides of his head.  You loved the way that he always walked like he was on some type of important mission and the entire world was waiting for him to see what he does.

 

 

 

I want to say all of those things but instead, like the idiot I am, my head falls to the fucking ground.

 

 

 

“Damn, I guess I’m not your type,” he whispers letting go of me.

 

I’m so flustered.  I’ve been horrible at talking this entire time.  I’m just the worst.

 

 

 

“Why talk to me today?”

 

“I can’t hear you.”

 

“Why to talk to me today,” I say a little louder.

 

 

 

“It’s probably going to be my last chance,” he states, “Everyone knows the Reparations are rigged.  I caused too many issues already.  Last time I was arrested the cop beat my ass so bad and let me know I’d be chosen for the Reparations.”

 

“Why?”

 

He shows me his neck, “This…”

 

I look at his neck.  Naz’s copper skin is the color of the most beautiful bronze penny.  However on his neck underneath his red collared shirt there is a tattoo.  It’s rare to see tattoos nowadays. The history books from Earth talked about them but there weren’t many humans left who had the skill to do it.  Seeing one of them up close and personal was really something.  I notice the words ER written on them.

 

 

 

“ER?” I ask.

 

“You don’t know much of anything, do you Shy Shiloh?  That’s what I’m gonna call you.”

 

I’m embarrassed.

 

“ER: End reparations.  It’s my group.  A group of humans formed it in order to End the Reparations.  We are hoping that no one else would have to be chosen for the stupid games.  You know who that statue is of?”

 

I nod.

 

 

 

“Jonathan the Deliverer.  The man who led us and all the other refugees from all these different planets to 2nd Earth.  He thought it was going to save us.  Isn’t that what they teach us in the history books?  He saved us?”

 

I nod.

 

 

 

 

 

Naz grunts, “At least you knew that much.  What you don’t know is that he didn’t save any goddam thing.  He brought us to a planet that is alive.  A living planet.  A planet that requires a sacrifice once a year.  Reparations he calls it.  As though we asked that motherfucker to bring us to this place.”

 

“You really must HATE him?”

 

“He speaks at normal volume!  Look at that!  Should have recorded that and showed that to Fox.  Proof that you aren’t a mute so he can get off my back for having a crush on you.  What did you just say?”

 

“You must really hate him.”

 

“Who?”

 

“The Deliverer.”

 

“Of course.  Don’t you?” he asks.

 

I shrug.   They think Familiars don’t have any emotions anyway.  Maybe they don’t.  The thing is though I was only part Familiar and I can feel it.  I can feel the emotions building up in me.  I didn’t know what to think of the Riots.  I understood them to a point.  I sympathized with them even.  I remember the purple Dryad girl from this morning crying.  It was affecting all of us.

 

Naz looks at me, “Our lives aren’t meant to be sacrificed.  Reparations mean a payment to make amends for something we did wrong.  We didn’t do anything wrong.”

 

“It’s just one life.”

 

“Say that again.  I can’t hear you goddammit.  You whisper so much.”

 

“It’s just one life,” I repeat, “One life that the 2nd Earth requires so that we can all have a safe place to live.”

 

“One life is too many.  If Jonathan wants to sacrifice someone so bad…why doesn’t he start with himself?”

 

It was a good question.

 

“You have a point.”

 

“Then here…” he states, handing me a rope, “Help me take down the statue of Jonathan the liar. Jonathan the deceiver.  Jonathan the murderer.  Jonathan the coward…”

 

He might go on.  The way Naz is looking at me right now is almost like I’m his comrade in this.  He’s such a leader and I’m turned on that he’s even considering me worthy enough to join this cause of his.

 

 

 

I take the rope and I am about to help him.  I’m about to do it if we weren’t interrupted.  Men are running towards us.  They are armed.  I watch how they storm into the courtyard, but they are running right past the people trying to take down the statue.  They are running towards me.

 

“YOU!  WITH US!”

 

One of the guys grabs me.  I watch almost immediately Naz jump to my defense.  He doesn’t skip a beat.  He throws his fist hard with so much force that his hair drops out of his man bun.  He grapples with one guy to the ground and pushes me.

 

 

 

“Run!”  he tells me.

 

I don’t go anywhere.  The men surround me. They have hi-tech plasma guns. I’d seen people disintegrate when shot with these weapons.  I look over to see Naz’s friends coming to help.  Fox and a few others.  They all have this look in their eyes.  They all look like they are coming to his defense.  It looks like all hell is about to break loose.

 

“Stop this,” I tell Naz.

 

 

 

I’m desperate.  It comes off louder than my low, gentle voice has ever gone before.  He hears me and he seems almost confused that I’m saying this.

 

 

 

“You didn’t even do anything,” Naz states.

 

“You don’t have to protect me.  You don’t even know me…”

 

I’ve been in class with Naz this whole time and nothing caused him to pay any attention to me.  It took a riot for that to happen.  I appreciate him coming to my defense.  I appreciate the others gathering around in the way they were concerned that I was being taken advantage of.

 

 

 

“It doesn’t matter if I don’t know you.   I don’t need to know who you are,” Naz assures me, “We’re brothers in the cause now.  End Reparations!  END REPARATIONS!”

 

People are chanting.  They are circling the men who are taking me.  The men pull out guns.  They aim it towards the crowd of angry people approaching.  It’s clear these are not stun guns.  These weapons were designed with Alien technology.  They were the type of weapons that these humans had probably not seen in action.

 

 

 

 

 

“Stop this.  You don’t know who I am.  They aren’t arresting me,” I state.

 

 

 

 

 

Naz looks confused, “What?”

 

“They are escorting me out of here,” I explain.

 

 

 

“Why the hell would they do that?  You someone important?”

 

“Jonathan the Deliverer is my grandfather.”

 

 

 

 

 

~

 

 

 

 

 

The hovercraft ride is the worst ever.  My crush for years had finally shown an interest and I just had to share with him that the person who he hated and spent his life rebelling against was actually my grandfather.  I press my face up against the glass looking down at the city below us.  I’d watched documentaries of what 2nd Earth looked like just a few decades ago.   Now it was this booming metropolis.

 

 

 

There were metal skyscrapers with swirling spires of gold and white that weaved like DNA symbols into the clouds.  The hovercrafts busily transport people here and there.  The Skybus that passes through the metal skyscrapers maintains an isolation bubble kept in its own containment to keep the noise and pollution out of the main city.  There are huge rows of solar panels and windmills, places strategically to keep the city going forever.  There are Alien markets with the names of all the races. We zipped past the broadcasting station, each panel of the walls showing a different channel with the news station broadcasted across the top of the building on the biggest screen. It picked up the riots that were going on back at the public school and I realize that they had managed to take down the statue of Jonathan the Deliverer.

 

 

 

“We are almost there, Mr. Shiloh,” one of the escorts tells me, “Your grandfather is waiting for you at dinner.”

 

 

 

 

 

“Please don’t call me Mr. Shiloh.”

 

“That’s who you are.  You’re someone important.”

 

“I’m no one.”

 

 

 

Once the hovercraft had made it out of the city, it dropped down to ground level. We were entering the suburbs. No one actually lives in the city. All of the living is done in the suburbs, surrounding the city.  The poor lived in places called the Stacks.  They had Stacks for all races.

 

 

 

Human, Antlien, Priors, Dryads and even Familiars lived in the Stacks.  The stacks are made up of metal or concrete shacks built off each other.  It’s sort of like a make-shift apartment, built room by room as needed.

 

 

 

The rich live on the east side so that they could have the sunrise for them. Stupid idea, really. If I was rich, I’d rather sleep in and get the sunsets.

 

 

 

There were rich people in every race.  They were basically the representatives.  The rich get actual houses, a whole building just for themselves. If you’re really rich, then it will be made of wood, but there’s only a few of those, hidden so rioters don’t set them on fire.

 

 

 

 

 

“We’re here,” my escort states.

 

 

 

The hovercraft lands next to the wooden building hidden away behind gates.  Security is tight today. No doubt because of the rioters. There are several associates that come out to escort me and make a big deal greeting me as though they gave a fuck whether or not I stayed or left.

 

 

 

There is this one guy named Poppy.  Poppy is an Antlien.  The Antlien were known as being ridiculously handsome to all the races, except of course to Priors who really never intermingled with other species as far as mating was concerned.  Antliens had the look of a human, except you never really saw an ugly Antlien like you did with humans, familiars or hell even dryads. None of them looked homely.  They all looked like human models if you ignored that at times some of them may have the slightest green tint under their skin and have antlers on their heads.   They loved walking around with thin underwear making sure you saw their six pack abs and strong muscular thighs.

 

“How was school, Shiloh?”

 

He has a dick print today. No doubt he is showing it off on purpose. I shrug and just keep walking as he asks me 20 other questions.  It’s the same questions he asks me all the time.  They are really rehearsed.  I think one time I saw him actually writing out new questions to ask me.  He doesn’t really care.  They pay him to be my friend because they know I don’t have any friends.

 

 

I ignore Poppy until he escorts me to dinner.  As we get to dinner I can see my grandfather sitting at the table.  My dad died a few years ago and since then I’d been with my grandfather.  I have an Uncle Royce who is there though sitting at the table.  He’s this big shot businessman and he’s taking an important call while I’m standing there.

 

 

 

My grandfather gives me a nod, “Good. You’re OK.”

 

We don’t hug or anything.  I know he cares.  I know he was concerned.

 

 

 

“They are rioting at my school…because of the reparations.”

 

Grandpa Jonathan gives me a look.  His eyes are heavy as usual.  He’s getting old even though he doesn’t really look it.  I can tell.  He just crosses his arms, clearly not in the mood to deal with this kind of stuff.

 

“I don’t know why you ever went to that school in the first place.  I should have never let you talk me into doing it.  You’re going  back to getting homeschooled.”

 

“The school isn’t the problem,” I state, “The reparations are.”

 

My grandpa gives me a stern look, “That’s treason, kid.  You starting to sound like those members of the ER.  You know people get put in jail for that kind of talk.  Put in jail or worse…”

 

 

 

 

 

“Don’t be so rough on him,” Uncle Royce tells his father, “He’s young.   Young people have a lot of passion.  I think that’s a good thing.”

 

Uncle Royce usually takes my side with these kinds of things.  He gives me a warm smile.  I didn’t have any friends but I knew if I would consider being friends with anyone it would be Uncle Royce.  If he wasn’t so goddam busy all the time helping my grangfather with his government duties, we’d spend a lot more time together.

 

 

 

I’m not surprised by Grandfather’s reaction either.  He gives me a hard look.

 

 

 

“2nd Earth requires a sacrifice.”

 

 

 

“It’s not fair,” I state.

 

“It’s random draw for birthdays who goes into the Reparations,” he argues.

 

“What happens there?”

 

“The Reparations are a competition. Each week, the competitors known as Repairers are given tasks,  challenges, and twists.  The repairers must survive all the tasks, the challenges, and the eviction in order for them to reach the Final Night.   The person with the most points on the Final Night gets to choose who among the other competitors will be sacrificed to the 2nd Earth.”

 

“Sacrificed,” I shake my head, “It sounds like a ritual.”

 

“I’ve seen what happens when this process isn’t contained.   The 2nd Earth will swallow someone.  We get to decide who it is.”

 

“And what if it’s me?” I ask, “What if I’m chosen for Reparations?”

 

There is laughter.  It is shared between my grandfather and my uncle.  They look at one another and they are clearly entertained by all of this.

 

“You won’t be chosen,” my grandfather states.

 

 

 

“How do you know?  It’s anyone born in the year I was born.  There is a chance.  It may be small, but there is a chance…”

 

That is when my grandfather gives me a look.

 

 

 

“You are my grandson and heir.  You think for one minute I’ll let that happen?”

 

“It’s true what he said…”

 

“Who?”

 

“I spoke to a member of the ER rebels today.  He said that the lottery for the Reparations was FIXED.  You are going to make sure I’m not in there.  You’re going to fix the lottery!”

 

I don’t know why I don’t feel right about this.  There were other people…other people like me who would be picked but just because of who my grandfather is, I didn’t qualify.  I watch my grandfather look at the table.  I always respected him.  I always thought he was some sort of hero.  He had saved not only the Familiar race from extinction but had saved the other races as well.  He had brought us to our new home decades ago.  Now he was old and he was a hero.  He was written in books and he had a promise to be the greatest Familiar in history.

 

 

 

But he was willing to do this for his own purposes.

 

 

 

I didn’t know how to feel about this.

 

 

 

 

 

“Shiloh, I’m not going to apologize for protecting you,” he states.

 

He’s cold.  He has no emotion.  Maybe this is why they think Familiars are like that.  We looked like humans but we had a shape underneath this façade.  Something that humans would be terrified of if they really knew what lay beneath.  And maybe this was my grandfather showing just a little bit of that monster.

 

 

 

“FUCK THAT!”  I scream.

 

They aren’t used to me screaming.  I’d always been a good quiet kid.  I’d been too quiet.  But something was wrong here.

 

 

 

“C`mon,” my uncle says grabbing me, “Time to get some fresh air.”

 

My uncle leads me out into the gardens.  I can tell he’s upset at me for screaming at my grandfather.  I can tell that he’s upset with me for going down that road.

 

 

 

 

 

“You let him do this?” I ask, “You let him fix it.”

 

“You know how your grandfather is.  You know that you are his heir.  You are going to inherit everything.  Every last cent.  He was like that with all of us.  I get why you’re upset.  You have your father’s passion,” my Uncle Royce explains to me with a smile, “You have to know that he’s just trying to protect you though.  He’s just trying to keep you safe.”

 

“I get it.  It’s just not fair.”

 

“You rather be sacrificed.”

 

“I’m not saying that.  Of course, I’m not saying that.  But there has to be another way.  Why can’t no one be sacrificed or maybe like a criminal on death row or someone who was really sick and dying already.”

 

“We tried that, 2nd Earth refused criminals.  It refused the sick.  It wants a true sacrifice.  It knows.”

 

A planet that is alive.  It was a strange concept to understand.  I’d never quite gotten it.  No one has.  Most people had abandoned the old religions and had begun worshipping 2nd Earth.  For the most part 2nd Earth was some sort of God to them and with every god, with every religion, there was a sacrifice that was usually required at some point.

 

Why did this seem so cruel to me?

 

 

 

 

 

“They are going to announce the ones chosen soon…” I state, “What will happen?”

 

“They’ll be taken before the announcement most likely,” Uncle Royce explains, “It stops them from running.  They always try to run.”

 

I shake my head, “It just seems so cruel and unnatural.  And the fact that I am so detached from this because I’m going to inherit everything from Grandpa once he dies.  It doesn’t seem right.”

 

I was tired of beating the dead bush.  I sit in the gardens and look up at Uncle Royce.  He tells me I look like my dad when he has these conversations with me.  He said my dad was some big morality leader when he was alive.  It was hard to imagine, especially with the fact that I was so quiet.  I wonder sometimes when he looks at me if he’s disappointed I am not more like my father.  Right now was one of those times.  I wondered what Uncle Royce looked at me and saw.

 

 

 

Out of nowhere in the middle of the conversation, he says the strangest thing.

 

“I agree.”

 

“What?”

 

“You shouldn’t be spared going to the Reparations.  Matter of fact.  I think you should go.  Matter of fact, I think you should die in the Reparations.”

 

Just at that moment, I hear something.  Boots.  Heavy boots.  There are lights everywhere.  I see a huge hovercraft flying over.  My grandfather’s people are running out to see what’s going on but it’s too late.

 

 

 

“Uncle Royce…what the hell is going on?”

 

The people grab me.  They put a bag over my head.  They are KIDNAPPING ME!  They are fucking KIDNAPPING ME!

 

I look over at my Uncle Royce.  What the fuck was this about?

 

“When your father died, Jonathan felt like he had to make his own reparations.  He decided when he died he had to leave you everything because he might have driven your father to his death.  I can’t allow that to happen.  I can’t allow you to get everything.”

 

That was when it became clear.  My grandfather may have tried to fix the lottery so that I wasn’t in the Reparations, but my Uncle had fixed it to make sure I was.

  • Brandon Cruz

    So basically this is the Hunger Games for aliens living on a planet that requires a true sacrifice. I kinda wanted him to picked for this game like everyone else, not forced by his uncle like what is this.

    So Naz and maybe his friend might be in the game with Shiloh.

    I wonder if we will see Selah and Chad, Lucky and Katashi, and everyone else. How old would they be at this point. I hope none of them are dead because well at this point I don’t even know anymore.

    I like this so far. Lets be honest this is the Hunger Games, but for aliens. The only difference is one person dies and not a whole bunch.

    Why makes it to a game and make people go through all of that. I rather just pick a random named that Isn’t fixed because the system is mess up. The person who is picked, maybe they have a days left before they get sacrifices and can get all their affairs in order.

    I do like that the 2nd Earth knows how it kills like it would be so easy to used criminals or sick people dying from their illness. Nothing is easy.

    • JJ

      Was just thinking Hunger games also after reading this

      • Brandon Cruz

        Maybe our main hero will be like Katniss

    • Lee namefree

      The Absolute nerve of 2nd Earth to be so damn choosey! I can understand not wanting sick or dying people. Like most animals, 2nd Earth probably intuitively senses when something is not good for him. Additionally, it seems to want these aliens to make a blood sacrifice. I don’t get it, but I actually like the games as a way of choosing. It at least gives the chosen group a fighting chance to survive.

  • JJ

    Hunger Games anyone. This is going to be interesting.

    From the looks of it; Jonathan seems to be in charge? So where is Katashi/Lucky/Kane/Selah? Wasn’t Royce, Ann’s husband also if I’m remembering correctly.

    I don’t see anything wrong with a lotto system, but it should be transparent. Can’t have it fixed so the “rich” and people in power never get picked.

  • Lee namefree

    Yeah the Aliens are back! And so is their cannibalistic landlord, 2nd Earth! 2nd Earth you’re a sentient being. Why must you eat people? It’s bad manners 2nd Earth to eat something off the surface of your own body! You’re a nasty cannibal 2nd Earth and you have the nerve to be picky about your food source! I ask again what the hell you were eating before the aliens terraformed you?

    I’m assuming that the collective aliens agreed to continue to feed 2nd Earth because 2nd Earth continued to supply some type of food source? Forty years ago, that was a super aphrodisiac fruit. 2nd Earth should have also supplied nuts and grains, for humans to survive. The collective alien scientist were supposed to be working on creating their own food source. What happen to that plan? Shouldn’t they have grown something by now?

    I wonder who Jonathan mated with? Did he impregnate a male or female? At least one of Shiloh’s parent’s is dead. What happened to his mother, or other dad?

    • JJ

      I can understand 2nd Earth not eating sick people, but why refuse criminals when it ate the Upsetter quite fine. Unless they were only offering it sick criminals.

      I also wonder who Jonathan mated with. He didn’t seem the type to be interested in that. Then I remembered the familiars impregnated Mario. so it’s possible a human was chosen as a host.

      I was honestly thinking Shiloh is the offspring of either Kane or Ann; both who were half familiars, truth be told.

  • Yan

    dayme Tbh i swear anyone smiling in these stories from staten, i know is 100% EVIL.

  • Monty Woods

    This is my 1st crushed crown story to read & can’t understand all the space between lines, made me think that I was at the end. This makes reading more of an effort to the get through just 1 chapter. Story was listed as unclassified so I had a difficult time finding beginning chapter. Posed a question about getting the story into audio form by a text to speech program that someway I(we) can produce an .MP3 or .wav(or any audio type ) file per chapter. Even while I scrolled down the page I received warning after warning about copying the story but I only was doing page down.
    I asked about copying to put the story into a Kindle Reader device which puts out natural sound. But I got no response from anyone. I am not looking to steal works from authors. I buy stories and books all the time. But there is now way to even ask what was needed to legally copy a story.