Chapter 13

A Matter of Perspective

“When I first opened my eyes, I was blinded by a bright light above my head. I had no idea where I was. I immediately panicked.”

“Someone touched my arm, spoke to me in a calming voice. I was shocked when I could see clearly again. The owner of the voice had blue skin. My first thought was that I had finally found the aliens, but I guess technically they had found me.”

“The owner of the voice told me that his name was Andeux. He explained that they had picked me up a few days ago. He apologised for shaving my head, said they had needed to disinfect me and couldn’t risk me bringing any parasites on board.”

“While I recovered from the shock, he went over my vitals, and explained where I was. This was his mother’s ship, The Galaxa.”

“His mother, Andaela, is a high ranking officer on their planet, Sixam. They had been notified of my attempts to reach them, and had been keeping an eye on me in case I managed it. They had orders to ‘eliminate the threat’ if I ever managed to send a signal outside our own galaxy.”

“I was free to explore the ship. Andeux told me that his mother was disobeying a direct order from The Council by bringing me with them – alive. She felt certain that she could convince the Elders to reconnect with humans, if only she could prove that we had valuable knowledge to share.”

“I will admit, I was distraught for weeks. Flying to Sixam takes 7 months. Even if Commander Andaela was successful and I was allowed to not only live, but go home, I would have been gone for so long. I thought of Aidan, my family. Would I ever see them again? Andaela gave me this notebook so I could keep a diary, to help me process everything.”

“I slowly got to know the rest of the crew. Besides Andaela and her son Andeux, there’s also Tomnu, the ship’s giant cuddly teddy bear. He’s the strongest one, exercises constantly – when he isn’t eating. He’s very nice, always cracking jokes and trying to keep everyone happy.”

“And finally there’s Tacah, Tomnu’s sister. She is beautiful, I was almost speechless when I first saw her. She’s also smart and witty. Well, everyone here is a genius, they’re a space crew after all. I must admit, it feels good to be surrounded by fellow scientists.”

“Andaela spends most of her time putting together convincing arguments for my case. I’ve spent entire days telling her about my research and my job at home. She told me that she visited Earth when she was very young, she doesn’t remember much. But she doesn’t agree with The Council.”

“I also try to make myself useful. I have nothing to do on this ship, so to avoid dying of boredom I’m familiarising myself with the ship’s technology, and I’ve even managed to figure out a few upgrades for the sleeping pods. Andaela was thrilled and added it to the list of arguments for my case.

“Even though I try to make the best of it, though, I often get overwhelmed by fear, sadness and homesickness. Sometimes I just look out the windows for hours and wonder if one of the dots is my own sun. I hope to see my family again some day.”

“How do I start writing these entries? ‘Dear Diary’ sounds like I’m 12. Anyways, I haven’t written in a while, a lot has been happening. I’ve grown a little closer to my crew mates. While the Sixams look rather different, they are pretty similar to us.

“Tomnu told me that they used to look even more like us, back in the day. They have two ways of procreating. One is the ‘old-fashioned’ way, the other is by ‘pollinating’ humans. But aliens born from pollination will also have a tiny bit of human DNA and will often grow hair or have interesting eye colours. Many even lack facial ridges.”

“Apparently, Andaela was born from pollination. She was even born on Earth but sent back by her reluctant human ‘parent’. This is also why she has hair, even though she shaves it off. And it’s also why she ended up working in Human Relations.”

“Apparently, Human Relations means ‘Human Avoidance’ these days. Almost three decades ago, the Council of Elders decided to end all human/Sixam contact. All Sixams were brought back to the planet. The pollinated Sixams, like Andaela, shaved their heads to better fit in. Tomnu was a little surprised to see my hair growing out. He’s too young to have met anyone who wasn’t bald.”

“Tacah is a little older than her brother and claims that their grandmother used to have bright blue hair before she shaved it off when Tomnu was very little. I would have loved to see that.”

“Andeux is the same age as Tacah, I think. He says Andaela’s hair was black, back when she had any. But he was also very young when The Council decided to eradicate all human influences.

“As Security Officer, Tomnu spends a lot of time exercising and has recently taken to doing push-ups nearby whenever I write. I can’t help but wonder if he’s trying to impress me.”

“But while I do find Tomnu attractive – anyone would – he’s not the one I’m interested in…”

“I’ve started seeing a lot more of Andeux. We meet often, in secret, in one of the storage rooms.”

“A few weeks ago, I was helping him clean up in here. And then things just… happened. And it keeps happening. The first few times, I couldn’t help but think of Aidan afterwards and feel guilty.”

“But Andeux is very good at distracting me. And I don’t even know if I will ever see Aidan again.”

“I’m sure Aidan wouldn’t want me to feel too lonely. At least that’s what I tell myself… every time.”

Last night, Andeux told me that we are refuelling at one of Sixam’s early colonies tomorrow, before continuing to Sixam. I can’t wait to get out of this ship. I wonder what the colony looks like.”

“It’s so good to be outside the ship! Everything here is so… well, alien. Andaela found a camera for me, I have been taking pictures of everything.”

“I saw a blue planet in the distance, and asked Tomnu if it was Sixam. But he told me that it’s just a moon, one covered with mostly water. Sixam is still pretty far away.”

“Andaela caught up on communications and let The Council know that she had an important case to bring up when we arrive on Sixam. I don’t think she told them about me yet, though.”

“I spent some time wandering around in the area, taking a lot of pictures. I hope I’ll be able to show them to everyone back home some day, and tell them about my time here.”

“There wasn’t a lot of people at the fuel station, it seemed pretty empty apart from a few Sixam staff members, but behind the station I found a little bar, occupied by a man – a human man.”

“I talked to him, and found out that he was in fact the old owner of The Sandtrap in Oasis Springs. I explained that my mother had told me about him. He was happy to hear that she has done well.”

“I asked him why he was here. He told me that he’d fallen in love and married a Sixam who used to come to his bar. But when The Council ended human/Sixam relations, he had been sent here with his wife and son.”

“He told me that their son is a hybrid – neither human nor Sixam. His family was no longer welcome on Sixam, and he knew too much to be allowed to return to Earth. So now they were here.”

“When he left, I couldn’t help but wonder what would happen when we arrived at Sixam. Would I be allowed to live, only to be exiled here?”

“There is only one way to find out. We’re setting out for the bright star that is Sixam.”

“We’ve arrived at Sixam. I now see why the Sixams prefer Oasis Springs. Sixam is a desert planet. After the shiny white insides of the ship, the earthy tones were a bit of a surprise.”

“It was also slightly weird to finally see the others in something that wasn’t space suits or sleepwear. Most of their clothing is light colours and fabrics because of the harsh sun.”

“It took me a while to learn how to find my way around. At least half the living complex is underground, full of tunnels, almost like a warren.”

“The complex also has a huge garden. Tomnu told me that they’ve had people take care of it while they were away. Apparently, the garden is Andaela’s pride and has plants from many planets.”

“It’s nice to sleep in a real bed after so many months in the sleeping pod. Andeux told me this used to be his room, but he would be moving to a pod so I could have this, for now.”

“It’s all for show, though. We both know that he will be sleeping here as well.”

“I don’t know what to do. One night, soon after our arrival on Sixam, Andeux told me that we had to stop this. He told me that his mother is making some progress with The Council and I might be able to go home. He said he has ‘obligations’ here. I was crushed.

“I moped around for days, not knowing what to do. I tried doing research or reading, but then…”

“I have been suspicious for a while, but I am now certain. I’m pregnant.”

“But when I went to find Andeux yesterday so I could tell him, I saw him in what seemed like a very intimate conversation. With Tacah.”

“He and Tacah were oblivious to me, caught up in each other. I could barely hear their voices.”

“Tacah was surprised that Andeux had apparently changed his mind about something, at first I didn’t catch what it was.”

“But then he talked about some kind of promise he had made in the past.”

“Tacah seemed slightly hesitant, but happy, like she couldn’t quite believe it. She took his hand, and my mind was reeling. Had they been together once? Or maybe even engaged?”

“It didn’t matter. I assume that some kind of agreement had been made, maybe a long time ago.”

“When I saw him kiss her hand, it was clear that they belonged together.”

“I just stared at them for a moment, tears welling up in my eyes. Then I ran.”

7 thoughts on “Chapter 13

  1. Wow! This is really cool!!!
    I think reading your story so far has been quite fun because it draws some parallels and differences to my own story, where Don and the science career are obvious.
    This chapter really made me jump in my chair.
    I love the spaceship and the whole story that takes place in that environment.
    I love the story of how the Aliens shave off the hair and the whole time frame of the chapter. The affair with Andeux. More drama is in store. I’m all in 😀

    NB: I can reveal that I am already working on some ideas regarding pollinating/fertilization for one of my future chapters. Still some parallels, but also some differences.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The fact that the Sixamese have an HR department, and the purpose of that HR department is to mediate their relationship with a different species, is hilarious to me.

    Andeux, you blue-balled fuccboi. Hope Roe vs. Wade is codified in space.

    Liked by 1 person

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