Pressing himself as close to the wall as he could get, Gerald held his breath. The sleeping rhinoceros alien did not need to be woken. The only door the room held was the same door Gerald had been led through. And behind it stood a fully awake alien.
Many thoughts collided through Gerald’s brain as he attempted to sort out what was going on:
Aliens were hovering above Earth. He was standing on a spaceship which an elevator from Earth had brought him to. The aliens were rhinos. A sleeping one slept in front of him. What was he doing here? How was he going to get back to earth?
“And can I even go back?” Gerald’s thought seeped out of his mouth.
The sleeping rhino came to.
“You!” It said.
Gerald pressed himself even closer to the wall in hopes that he might become the wall.
The alien stood up, taking a clipboard with It. It walked to Gerald and looked him up and down.
“You enjoy swearing,” It said.
Gerald swallowed and remained silent.
“Swear one more time and I’ll put you in solitary confinement without food for one week. Understood?” It said as It looked over the clipboard.
Nodding, Gerald found he could not take his eyes from the alien. Up close It was terribly slimy and horribly smelly.
The alien made a note on its clipboard, then gestured to a chair in front of the control panel, “sit down.”
Gerald pulled himself from the wall and sat down. The alien rummaged through a few drawers attached to the control panel. When It looked up It smiled at Gerald showing off two very large, very sharp, canine teeth.
“You like my desk?” It asked.
Gerald nodded, “it’s nice.”
It smiled again though Gerald felt more like It was snarling at him.
As It resumed Its search through the drawers, Gerald took a chance to look at the desk fully. What had appeared to be a control panel was more a plastic covering for the desk. The giant red button was situated next to a speaker. Gerald assumed it to be some kind of intercom.
“Ah ha!” the alien said.
It pulled out a large file, overstuffed with papers. When It opened it Gerald saw pictures and profiles of people from his office building going by floor and office number. Tom’s profile passed and then Gerald’s picture appeared.
“Herald?” The alien asked.
“Gerald,” he corrected.
“Gerald,” the alien made a note in the file. After taking a moment to scan the file the alien looked up.
“Gerald. I’m sorry to be the one to tell you this but your planet is going to be destroyed.” The alien gave Gerald a moment to process that.
Gerald stared, “why?”
“Because our technology allows us, finally, to replicate your genes. So instead of needing all of you, we now only need one of you.” It explained.
Gerald’s eyes grew wide, “me?”
It nodded, “you.”
“But – I have family, friends, down there -“
“I know. It makes me sad. But it’s cost effective, so that’s good.” It smiled again. Gerald shivered. It continued, “besides, in a few hours we’ll have killed you too. Of course, we’ll be making thousands more of you, Gerald. But you individually, and possibly mentally, will cease to exist.”
Gerald’s eyes searched frantically for an exit. He had seen all the movies, he needed to warn someone one.
A sudden bang echoed throughout the ship. Gerald and the alien fell over from the blast. Coughing, the alien helped Gerald back into his chair.
“Not to worry. We were far enough away from your planet’s explosion not to be hurt.”
Gerald’s heart fell into his stomach with a splash, “planet’s explosion?”
“Yes. I told you we would be destroying your planet. Now, come, follow me. We need to start the replication process – your eyeballs cure several diseases on my planet.”