Jan 5
I’m conveniently shanghaied into a
scheme to overthrow the government

I wake up to the smell of rust and a soft surface being pressed against my lips. In my head begins a demonstration video, offering simple steps on how to eat.

“This is a food block filled with various nutrients from meat, fruit, and vegetables. Grasp the block with your hand and lift it to your lips. Insert the block partly into your mouth and then bite off a small chunk. Now chew and the nutrients will be absorbed naturally by your digestive system,” it says. 

I open my eyes and go to grab the food block held by a lizard standing over me, pressing it against my lips. I eat it as instructed, though of course it was superfluous information. (I like superfluous information.) It tastes like what I imagine congealed blood mixed with all my least favorite green vegetables would taste like. At least it tastes like food; it could instead taste like a rock, bland and full of hard minerals. 

The lizard leaves the room, but I am glad to find that I am no longer restrained to the table. As I sit up to get off, my head fills with in-determinate information, some visual, some verbal. 

One lizard with a shirt sits in a great hall, conducting his business in humble communications; I assume he is either a political leader or a religious patriarch, not a business executive.

Then the image of the bloodied limbs and parts of General Jess sitting prepared on plates and dishes on a dressed table. My in-dividual repulsion matches the fire of the gluttony sent with the image.

“These are only for Overseer — you heard General!”

“I know what he said, but I can barely control myself now, and I have never consumed human or Elite flesh.”

A map of the political web of connections of the aliens comes into full detail in my brain. The way the message is sent makes it clear to me that I am supposed to be a recipient of this particular mes-sage. It looks so complicated, I wonder how they are able to main-tain such detailed information within their brains. 

“It’s an assassination campaign. One by one, they need to be all taken out and forbidden from replacement. It is then that we will be free. So will you. We offer that to you for your help, human.”

I concentrate with all my will on an idea or an image, I can’t tell which, and I try to convey it to them. The image needs to take on an external existence separate from myself and float off into the ne-ther, I think. In that way, this form of communication is the kind that I prefer, for I must relinquish it to the great nothing before it actually arrives to anyone. I must be willing to throw it away in order to communicate. 

When the image of me murdering a dozen of them enters my brain as if it were someone else’s creation I know the message was sent. I tried to make gravitons look so mysterious and all-powerful as it slashes, tears, and gores through their thick hides. 

A laughter which could never be audible is their response: a hearty, friendly laughter. They show me that my room is surrounded by them as they lock the doors. In their mind’s eye I am locked in until they are ready to channel me to their targets. 

“What? He knows our humor?”

“Beyond any and all belief, I believe you human, and can’t wait to help you accomplish your goal!”

“How is such a small, fragile creature so fierce?”

“Have to keep an eye on this one.”

“What you need to understand is that we chose you not for your ferocity, but for your disposability. You are human, and so we have no responsibility for your safety or over any decisions you make. But your anonymity is paramount because you are alien. We al-ready have a human here or there among us, but you are simply like cattle to us.”

“Do they not fly and preform unbelievable feats of strength? Are they not rulers over you all?” I ask.

“They do perform great feats, and we are unable to force them directly, it is true. But if they are unable to force us in return with their power, what use is it? It will never be the force which will rule us, otherwise we would have been ruled by the Elites long ago.”

I am still sitting on the table, listening and responding to all, para-lyzed in my mental focus. But now I have the mental capacity to get up and stand on my feet. I am weak, but my wings, my gravitons, bear me up. The door on the far end of the room opens and a hu-man enters: an adult with bright blue eyes and brown hair, dressed in an old shirt and worn jeans. 

“In order to assassinate all those you must in order to regain your freedom, you must learn to have telepathic disguises.”

The human dissolves and enlarges until one of the lizards is stand-ing before me. The hair become freckled scales and the bright pupils become dark pits for eyes. Fingers become razor-thin claws and a tail sprouts between the legs. 

“You don’t understand, I am free now,” I respond, although I am intrigued by their ploy.

I rush up to the lizard and push it across the room. It bounces off the ceiling and crashes into the back wall with a large thud. It jumps up quickly and hisses. I cause the ceiling and floor around me to depress and deflate as if by an eternal vacuum, but to my dismay the surfaces do not budge. I look up and down and see that my wings do indeed cause them to bend, but they don’t give way. 

This place will give me the satisfaction I need. I know this because of the effort it will require for me to destroy. They are not going to make it easy for me to destroy them, although that is precisely who I want to see obliterated. I will play their game, and enjoy it. I will hide behind cloak and dagger and assassinate their political enemies. But eventually I will wrest every illusion of control from every last one of them.