A Future That Would Never Exist

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

Libby is taken to an alien world and starts a family...or so she thinks...

"A Future That Would Never Exist"

The suns began to rise over the horizon of Thesiak. The feeling of the baby kicking woke Libby. She reached to where her husband, Satok, slept. The sheets were cold.

She brushed her long curly red hair from her face and scrambled to get out of bed which was starting to become a struggle at eight and a half months pregnant.

Then, Libby heard a knock on the door. After scrambling to find her robe and struggling to put it on, she hurried to answer it. It was Balok, Satok’s brother.

“Hey Balok,” Libby said.

She had grown used to his striking appearance. His straight short white hair fell to just above his golden eyes letting his Vulcan-like pointed ears show. It was a big contrast to Satok’s waist-length curly white hair. While both men were eight feet tall, the tattoo-like marks on his face differed from Satok’s. Balok’s were more jagged and intimidating while Satok’s were more angular and geometric. They drew attention away from Balok’s beak-like nose. Libby was glad that Satok did not inherit that trait.

All people of Thesiak had these markings from their forehead down the sides of their face to their chin, and everyone’s were slightly different. It was believed to be a symbol of their individuality in a world where they all had similar physical appearances. Libby sometimes felt like an outcast with her fiery red hair, freckles, and emerald green eyes.

“Good morning Libby. Have you seen Satok? It is time for our work to begin at the research facility,” Balok said.

“Actually no, I haven’t seen him. I fell asleep before he came home last night, and when I woke up he wasn’t in bed,” Libby said.

“That is quite strange. We finished our work at the research facility earlier than anticipated yesterday,” Balok said.

“What if something happened to him?” Libby said.

“I would not worry as of yet, Libby. I am sure that Satok is well. It is possible that he decided to continue his research last night after I returned to my pod. I am sure that I will find him at the facility when I arrive to begin the day’s tasks,” Balok said as he turned to leave.

“Okay. You’re probably right. Tell him to call me. Bye,” Libby said as the door closed. She knew immediately that something was up. Balok was acting strange. He had never shown up at her door asking for his brother.

Balok’s insincere reassurance only made Libby more worried. She had a gut feeling that something bad had happened. In the five years since she had arrived in Thesiak, Satok had never done this before. Now was definitely not the time for bad things to happen.

“Thesiak is not like Earth. There’s no violence here. Hormones must be making me anxious. He’s fine. Stop worrying,” Libby said to herself as she grabbed her stomach. “Your daddy is gonna be fine,” she said to the baby, but more so to convince herself.

In an attempt to distract herself, Libby walked to the kitchen and began making breakfast. As she sat down to eat, she looked out the window. Everyone seemed to be on the way to work. There were shuttles flying in all directions.

Despite being Satok’s wife for several years, she was still not considered a citizen. This left her unable to work. Being the first human to live on Thesiak or marry one of their people did not make it easy for Libby to figure out how to fit in, and it left her feeling like an outsider.

She still had not gotten used to how there were three suns that shined their light on this planet. Surprisingly, the climate was comfortable. It was like Earth’s spring all year long. The foliage was lush, and animals thrived. The people of Thesiak were vegetarians, and in addition to their nonviolent nature, believed that it was unforgivable to hunt and consume meat. This was hard for Libby, as she was from Texas after all. Cheeseburgers and steaks were a thing of the past, but she tried to be accepting of the cuisine.

After Libby finished eating, she checked her phone. It was like the cell phones used on Earth, but the technology was much more advanced. It was half the size of her iPhone back home, the width of a credit card, and transparent. The device projected text or images three-dimensionally, and it kept track of everything necessary for life on Thesiak. Work schedules and appointments were tracked automatically. It also allowed for things like texting, which Libby was thankful for because it reminded her of home.

It had been two hours and still nothing from Satok. Frustrated, she decided to go look for him. She put on the moss-colored cloak that she purchased shortly after her arrival and walked out the front door of her house, or pod, as it is referred to in Thesiak.

The door locked automatically behind her, and she began her trek down the walkway lined with flowers more beautiful than any she had seen on Earth. Some of these flowers grew to the height of the cypress trees that she remembered so vividly from her home. The stems of these flowers had leaves in vibrant shades of pink and purple that were as big as palm leaves. The petals were the size of footballs and were shades of orange and yellow.

Libby shifted her gaze from the plants to the horizon. There were pods as far as her eye could see. She had always thought they looked like giant eggs the size of one-bedroom apartments lying in the grass, and their muted gray color stood out against the orange sky. Each had their own shuttle docked beside it. These reminded her of the Honda civic that she used to drive in Texas. On her walk she began to see all the friendly faces of their neighbors. She stopped when she saw her best friend, T’lun.  

T’lun was gorgeous. She was seven feet tall, thin, and had long straight white hair that she wore in a fishtail braid with a white ribbon tied around the end. The tattoo-like markings on her face were ethereal and accented her dainty features. Libby was secretly jealous of her supermodel look, but T’lun had known Satok all his life. They were inseparable before Libby met Satok. If anyone knew where he was, she would.

“Hi T’lun,” Libby said.

“Good morning, Libby,” T’lun replied as she gathered vegetables from her garden.

“I’m looking for Satok. He wasn’t home when I woke up this morning. Have you seen him?” Libby asked.

“That is strange,” T’lun said, avoiding eye contact.

“Yeah, it really is. He won’t respond to my messages. Balok said he would tell him to call me if he’s already at work, but I still haven’t heard anything. I’d go to the research facility, but we both know I wouldn’t be allowed in there,” Libby said.

“Yes. That is true. I am sure he will contact you when he is able. Do you want to come inside? I am trying that smoothie recipe you told me about,” T’lun said.

“Maybe later. Thanks though. See you later,” Libby said.

“Goodbye,” T’lun said.

Libby continued walking along the path between the pods. Sometimes it hit her all over again that she was living in a different world, one where there seemed to be more secrets every day. Everyone had seemed so accepting of her when she arrived in Thesiak, and now her best friend was ignoring her obvious concern for Satok. She was starting to think acceptance may have been just an illusion.

Libby became more worried as every neighbor she asked seemed to avoid her questions. She checked her phone and saw that there was still nothing from Satok. 

In Thesiak, due to the lack of violence, there is nothing resembling a police force and there are no weapons. In the face of a potential attack from an enemy, this world could easily be destroyed. Their only defense is the cloaking devices that made their ships, shuttles, and pods invisible to prying eyes.

Realizing that she had nobody to contact that would be able to help look for Satok, Libby returned home to request a video conference with her mother.

“Mama, I can’t find Satok anywhere, and it seems suspicious. Everyone is avoiding my questions,” Libby said.

“Honey, I’m sure he’s fine. Don’t jump to conclusions. How’d your checkup go?” Flora said.

“The baby’s fine. Satok put the crib together last week. I helped design it since they don’t have ‘em here,” Libby said.

“Is that it behind you? He did a wonderful job,” Flora said pointing to a white crib.

“Yeah, he did. He was gonna move it to the nursery today,” Libby said visibly distracted.

“Honey, stop worrying. I’m sure everything’ll be just fine,” Flora said.

“What if something happened to him? Something bad,” Libby said.

“Don’t think like that. It’ll only drive you crazy, and stress can induce early labor,” Flora said.

“Yeah, you’re right. Thanks mama. You and daddy doing alright?” Libby said.

“Good as can be expected. I’m glad Balok installed this video chat software for you. I missed you,” Flora said.

“Same here mama, but I can’t sit here and do nothing. I’m gonna go look for him. I’ll call you later. Love you,” Libby said.

“I love you too baby. Take care. Of yourself and my grandbaby,” Flora said.

After the video call ended, it hit Libby how much her mother had aged in the last few years. Her red hair had begun to turn white, she was much thinner, and there were wrinkles around her eyes and mouth. She looked almost frail.

Libby missed her mother dearly and felt guilty for leaving so suddenly, but her heart belonged with Satok.

Libby returned to T’lun’s pod and knocked on the door. There was no answer. She knocked louder. Still no answer.

“That’s weird. She’s always home this time of day,” Libby said.

Suddenly, Libby saw a shadow run past the window on the other side of T’lun’s curtains, and she heard a scream followed by the sounds of a struggle. The scream was high pitched and shrill. It had to be T’lun. Libby thought of trying to kick the door down, but this would have been impossible in her condition. She remembered how Satok had shown her how to override the door lock on the pods incase of emergency. She only had one chance to input the code.

“Dangit. What is that stupid code? One, seven, two, four?” Libby said.

Another scream pierced her ears. This time it sounded like a man’s scream. She put in the code, and the door opened.

Libby scanned the room, and she saw T’lun on the floor. The vegetables she picked from the garden earlier were scattered across the room, and her leg looked misshapen. Libby rushed to her side and attempted to help her stand up.

“Wait Libby. I believe my leg is broken. I should probably not move until the medic gets here,” T’lun said.

“Right. Yes. I’ll go call ‘em,” Libby said.

She ran over to the panel displaying the emergency information and pushed the button that would automatically dispatch a medic to the pod. The response time was faster than any Libby had seen on Earth. Two medics arrived in under sixty seconds and began to assess T’lun’s condition.

Libby watched as one of the medics set T’lun’s leg into place, and the other medic scanned the break with what looked like a tricorder she had seen the Doctor use on Star Trek to instantaneously heal wounds. The medics helped T’lun to her feet.

“No way. That’s it? It’s better now?” Libby asked

“Yes,” T’lun replied as she began picking up the vegetables and placing them on the counter.

“Wow. That’s crazy,” Libby said.

“I do not know why you would think that this is crazy. Our society is advanced. You are aware of this,” T’lun said.

“You’re right. Sorry. I’m glad you’re okay. Do you know who attacked you? I think I heard a man scream,” Libby said.

“I do not,” T’lun said.

“Well, what are we gonna do about it?” Libby said.

“Nothing. The threat has gone. I am alright,” T’lun said.

“You can’t be serious,” Libby said.

“I am aware that the way this situation would be dealt with on Earth is very different, but remember where you are now Libby,” T’lun said.

“Right,” Libby said.

Libby was shocked by T’lun’s sudden defensiveness. She saved her best friend, and now she felt like she was the enemy.

“Well, since you’re okay, I’d better go. I need to keep looking for Satok,” Libby said as she walked out of the front door of the pod.

“Alright. Goodbye,” T’lun said as the door closed.

“Something strange is going on here,” Libby said to herself.

Libby looked at her phone, still nothing. She began to hurry down the walkway carving a path through the sea of pods. The fact that she was almost nine months pregnant and attempting to run drew attention from everyone, but she did not care. Her husband had disappeared, and no one seemed to mind but her.

She did not stop until she reached the perimeter of the research facility. She was out of breath but did not stop to compose herself. She knew it was pointless to try to get past the guards, but she had no other ideas. The building was enormous, and only a select number of the population was deemed as qualified for employment behind the concrete walls.

The building was really a menacing sight, an eyesore surrounded by beauty. There were no windows, and it was surrounded by an invisible barrier. Any trespasser would instantly be killed with a pulse of electricity emitted through the ground if the marked boundary was crossed.

The building reminded Libby of the prisons she had seen on the news back home. Satok always told her that the jobs here paid substantially more than others on this planet. That was supposedly why employment in this uninviting place was so sought after. 

From a distance she saw two men with buzzed haircuts and uniforms that reminded her of the soldiers back home standing with their arms crossed at the edge of the barrier. She had never understood the choice to have guards here. This is the only place they seemed to want to keep secret. As Libby approached them, she wondered what they were hiding.

“Step back,” the guard said.

“Sir, please. My husband is Satok, and he has gone missing. I just want to know if he is inside the facility,” Libby said.

The guard stood expressionless. His golden eyes showed no emotion, and he said nothing in response. Libby began to cry. She blamed the hormones instead of admitting to herself how scared she was. While the guards had no weapons, they were eight feet tall and could easily overpower her five-foot nine frame, so she had no choice but to turn around and walk away.  

Libby took out her phone and messaged Balok. She told him to come to her pod after he was finished with work. Noticing the suns beginning to set, she hurried home to wait for him.

After about twenty minutes spent pacing back and forth across her pod, she heard a knock at the door.

“Who is it?” Libby asked.

“Balok,” Balok said.

Libby opened the door and waited for Balok to enter the pod. She looked around to make sure no one was watching before the door closed.

“So, was Satok at work?” Libby said.

She noticed he was standing closer to her than normal. She took a step back.

“No. He never arrived at the research facility today,” Balok said

“Why didn’t you message me? I’ve been going crazy,” Libby said.

“I apologize, Libby. There is something more important that you must know,” Balok said.

“More important?! Your brother is missing,” Libby said.

“This is not information that I am supposed to be sharing. You must understand to keep this to yourself. If you do not, you will put us both in danger. Messaging about Satok’s disappearance is not acceptable,” Balok said.

“In danger? Not acceptable?” Libby said.

“Yes. I cannot elaborate. They could be listening to our conversation at this very moment,” Balok said.

“They?” Libby said.

“The more you know, the more danger you are in. We have the baby to think about, so we should be cautious,” Balok said placing one hand on her stomach and reaching for her hand with the other.

Libby was shocked. Balok’s touch repulsed her. His increased affection was unnerving, but she chose to ignore it. He was her best chance of finding her husband.

Suddenly Libby found herself in danger despite the peace and harmony preached in this world. She wanted nothing more than to find Satok and return to Earth. At least there, police and military existed. She wasn’t sure who “they” were, but they didn’t seem very peaceful.

“But T’lun was attacked today. What if that has something to do with Satok’s disappearance?” Libby said.

“I know of one place. We may find Satok there. We will have to be very quiet since it is past curfew,” Balok said.

“Let’s go then,” Libby said.

“You need to understand that if we do find Satok there, it will not be good. If we get caught, it will be even worse” Balok said.

Libby swallowed hard. She felt a tightness in her chest that she hadn’t felt since she saw Earth disappear from view as the ship left for Thesiak all those years ago. Fighting back the fear, she started for the door.

“Let’s go,” Libby said as Balok followed her.

It was starting to get dark which would work to their advantage, but nights on Thesiak were only five hours long. Libby realized that prying eyes were everywhere in this world, and the abundant daylight gave people more time to intrude.

As Libby walked, she noticed that the landscape took on a more sinister appearance. The plants, beautiful in the day, became monstrous at night. Everyone spent nights in their pods because of the curfew, so she had never noticed this before. Fear took over and regardless of his previous behavior, Libby started walking closer to Balok.

“Do not be afraid,” Balok said.

“What if Satok is dead?” Libby said.

“We should not even consider that a possibility,” Balok said.

Libby heard a rustling noise and jumped towards Balok. He put his arm around her.

“What is wrong?” Balok said.

“Didn’t you hear that?” Libby said.

“Yes, but it is probably just an animal,” Balok said.

Before Libby could respond, she saw a figure in the dark. It sprinted towards them. Balok moved to stand in between Libby and the figure. The light from the moon allowed Libby to make out the shadow’s features.

“Satok?” Libby said.

He collapsed at her feet from exhaustion. Realizing that it really was him, Libby began to cry.

“Oh, sweetie. I was so worried. I was starting to think I’d never find you,” Libby said.

When she bent down to try to hug Satok, her pregnant stomach in the way, he moved away from her.

“Baby, it’s me,” Libby said.

She reached out to try to touch Satok’s face and shoved her hand away.

“Balok, what’s going on?” Libby said.

“It appears that he is either in shock or that he does not remember you,” Balok said.

“What do you mean he may not remember me?!” Libby said.

Suddenly, she felt a sharp pain in her stomach.

“Brother, who is this woman?” Satok said.

“I’m your wife,” Libby said.

Libby grabbed Balok’s hand and began to squeeze it as the pain returned.

“I do not have a wife,” Satok said.

“What is he talking about, Balok?” Libby said.

“It appears as though he is suffering from memory loss,” Balok said.

“So, I’m about to have our baby, and he doesn’t even remember me?” Libby said.

“He could regain his memory in time, Libby. There is no way to know for sure. We need to get you back to your pod. I can page the medics when we get there,” Balok said.

“Go brother. I will wait for you at your pod,” Satok said.

“No Satok. You are coming with us. This is your child,” Balok said.

“That cannot be true. However, coming with you will allow for us to address this issue as soon as possible,” Satok said as he stood up to follow them.

Libby fell to her knees in pain.

“I will have to carry you Libby,” Balok said.

“Fine. Whatever. Let’s go,” Libby said.

Balok picked Libby up and began to run towards her pod. She put her arms around his neck and tried to stay calm. The contractions were very close together now.

After arriving at her pod, Balok helped Libby onto the bed before paging the medics.

“The medics will be here soon,” Balok said.

Libby’s face was red. She was sweating and writhing in pain.  

“Childbirth appears to be different for humans. The women of Thesiak do not experience pain,” Balok said.

“You’re joking right?” Libby said.

Balok brushed the hair from Libby’s face and attempted to calm her until the medics arrived.

“Why’s Satok outside? I want him to come in here,” Libby said.

“I am aware of that, but he is not the Satok you remember now,” Balok said.

The medics arrived and asked Balok to step out of the pod and wait with Satok. Soon after he stepped outside, they heard a baby’s cry. When the medics left the pod, Balok went back inside to see Libby and the baby.

“Brother. Wait here, and I will return in a moment to speak with you,” Balok said.

Balok stepped inside the pod, but the door failed to close automatically.

“It’s a boy,” Libby said.

“Do you have a name?” Balok said.

“Turak. It means ‘way of hope.’ Isn’t he adorable? He looks just like his daddy. Do you want to hold him?” Libby said.

Balok shook his head no and began to turn towards the door.

“If you are alright, I will return after I have spoken to Satok. Perhaps I can convince him to come inside,” Balok said.

“Don’t be long,” Libby said.

Seeing how caring Balok had been during the most painful moments of her life gave Libby a new respect for him. She decided to give him another chance.

Balok stepped back outside and found Satok sitting on the ground with his head in his hands. Neither of them noticed the pod door still failing to close. Libby suddenly realized that because of this she was able to hear their conversation.  

“Brother. Who was that woman? Why did she say that she was my wife?” Satok said.

“She was confused, Satok. It must have been a result of being in labor,” Balok said.

“I am not her husband, and I am not a father?” Satok said.

“No. You work at the research facility, and T’lun is your mate,” Balok said.

“Yes. I remember T’lun. I do care for her,” Satok said.

“Go see her. I will return to Libby’s pod,” Balok said.

“She is your mate?” Satok said.

“Yes,” Balok said.

Libby was lying in bed holding the baby when Balok returned. She did her best to hide the fact that she had overheard their entire conversation. 

“I believe that Satok’s condition is worse than we thought. He will never remember you,” Balok said.

Even though Libby knew the truth, she decided to conceal her anger and play along with Balok’s mind games.

“There isn’t a way to fix it?” Libby said.

“I am afraid that we have not been able to develop a treatment for conditions like his,” Balok said.

“I’m going back to Earth. There’s no use in being here if Satok has no idea who I am. If he ever remembers me, I’ll come back,” Libby said.

“That is simply not possible,” Balok said.

“What do you mean?” Libby said.

“Your journey to Thesiak was a one-way trip. I thought Satok had informed you of this. We do not allow those that have been exposed to our advanced technology and way of life to return to the lands they came from,” Balok said.

“Who is we?” Libby said.

“The more you know, the more danger you are in. Think about your son before you decide to initiate a fight that you cannot win,” Balok said.

“Is that a threat?” Libby said.

“What happened to your husband is no coincidence. He had planned to tell you classified information. When he confided in me about it, it was decided that his punishment should be to forget his one true source of happiness. You,” Balok said.

“So, all of this was a plan?” Libby said.

“Precisely. T’lun asked Satok to assist her with some things at her pod, and she injected the poison. It could have killed him. Be grateful that he is alive. However, he believes that T’lun is his mate. He loves her and not you,” Balok said.

Libby tried to move away from him but was so sore from childbirth that she was unable to. She shielded the baby and mustered up what courage she had left after the day’s events.

“Why are you doing this?” Libby said.

“Why? Well, the answer to that is simple,” Balok said.

Balok continued to move closer to Libby. She began to shake with fear. Luckily, the baby was asleep.

“I love you Libby. I have since the first time I saw you. Satok’s decision to violate our rules only made my plan easier to enact. Now they are on my side. Now they also agree that you should be my mate. I am now Turak’s father. Satok will never know the truth. If you try to tell him, we will kill him,” Balok said.

“What did I ever do to you?” Libby said.

“We will be happy together Libby. This is not a punishment. I will be a better mate than Satok ever was,” Balok said.

“Who are they? If you are gonna ruin my life with their help I may as well know” Libby said.

“Just know that they control everything. They see everything. If you try to escape, they will most certainly stop you. Think of Satok. Think of Turak. Embrace this and be my wife,” Balok said.

“You’re insane,” Libby said.

“Our differences do not result in my insanity. In time you will see that this is best. Until then, rest and take care of our son. I will return within the hour,” Balok said.

Libby watched Balok leave the pod. When he was gone, she looked down at her son. She would do anything to protect him, even if that meant being Balok’s wife.

Libby woke up to find Balok standing over the bed looking down at her. He was holding Turak which immediately sent her into a panic since she had no idea what else he was capable of.

“Give me my son,” Libby said.

“You mean our son,” Balok said.

His stare was cold and heartless. It sent chills down her spine.

“He needs to nurse, Balok. Let me have him,” Libby said.

“I am aware that Turak will need regular feedings. Yes, you may feed him before he begins to cry,” Balok said.

Libby took her son into her arms. She looked down at his little face. He had her green eyes and his father’s pointy ears. His full head of hair was white and curly, and she noticed a few freckles on his cute button nose. Satok had told her that he would not get any markings on his face until he was around five, and that they would appear slowly. Since Turak was half human, it was unclear if he would inherit the trait at all.

“Can I have a little privacy?” Libby said.

“You may. I will return soon,” Balok said as he bent over and kissed Libby on the top of her head before he turned to leave.

Once he was gone Libby realized that she was going to have to fight for their freedom, or Balok would keep them prisoner on this planet forever. She needed to escape, she needed to find Satok, and she needed to make him remember. But first, she needed to get her hands on the poison that made Satok forget her. Injecting Balok with the same thing was her only chance at escape. He would have to forget her to let them go.

She would not be able to speak of her plan to anyone. Nobody could be trusted. “They” were always watching and listening. She only had one chance to make this work.

Libby pretended to be asleep when Balok returned, so he left for his own pod. Before doing so, he locked her pod door with a special code so that she could not leave.

“Shit,” Libby said as she struggled to get the door open. Turak was asleep in the makeshift baby carrier she had constructed from the bed sheet. Surprisingly, she was able to pry the door open after what felt like forever.

Libby slowly peered out the door of the pod. It had to be midday. She wouldn’t be attacked in broad daylight, she hoped not at least. If Balok saw her, she would just say she felt like taking a walk. As much as she felt like that would not work, she ventured out into the sunlight anyway. Thankfully, Turak stayed asleep. She prayed he would sleep soundly through this ordeal, and she was thankful that he would not remember any of it.

Everyone seemed to be at work which was good for Libby because it made her journey to T’lun’s pod easy. She assumed Balok would have changed the door lock code on T’lun’s pod, but he hadn’t. When the door opened, Libby stepped inside to find Satok unconscious on the bed. She checked the other rooms and found them empty. She only had a few minutes before T’lun returned from work.

“Satok. Wake up,” Libby said as she shook her husband gently in an attempt to wake him.

This was unsuccessful, and Libby glanced to the end table and saw a vial of some sort of medicine or poison. Placing it in her pocket, she turned to leave.

As she neared the door, T’lun entered the pod. Balok was with her.

“Libby, how did you escape your pod?” Balok said.

“I wasn’t aware that I was a prisoner,” Libby said.

When Balok approached Libby, she kicked him as hard as she could in the shin. He fell to the ground in pain.

T’lun had gone to make sure Satok hadn’t woken up, so Libby ran out of the pod and into the trees behind T’lun’s pod. She kept running until she couldn’t go on anymore. It was nearing curfew. Anyone found violating curfew without a pass disappeared. She had to think of what to do next.

Turak began to cry, and Libby quickly sat down in the high grass to nurse him. She was increasingly nervous. She had no idea if someone was following her or if anyone had heard Turak crying. She was out of ideas. She closed her eyes and began to cry.

After what seemed like only a moment, Libby opened her eyes to bright fluorescent lights. It was cold. She couldn’t move.

After a moment she came to her senses and realized she was in some sort of hospital room. She couldn’t move her head, arms, or legs. She was strapped down.

“Hello!” Libby said.

There was no response.

“Somebody! Help!” Libby said.

Still nothing.

“My baby! Where’s my baby?” Libby said.

Only silence followed her screams.

After what felt like an eternity, Libby heard footsteps. This frightened her more than it comforted her. In her time spent waiting strapped to the table, she began to realize that she was hooked up to many machines. The last thing she remembered was sitting in the grass with Turak.

A doctor walked up to Libby. He had the same physical traits as the others in Thesiak. His golden eyes contained a darkness. This terrified Libby. She began to wonder if Balok had found her in the grass and brought her here.

“Where have you taken my baby?” Libby said.

“There is no child,” the doctor said.

“No baby? What the hell are you talking about? I gave birth early this morning,” Libby said.

“You have never had children,” the doctor said.

“My son’s name is Turak. My husband’s name is Satok. He was poisoned by Balok and T’lun, Did Balok bring me here?” Libby said.

“I do not recall anyone by those names,” the doctor said.

“Are we not on a planet called Thesiak? I’ve lived here for five years with my husband Satok. I am from Earth,” Libby said.

“You are in fact from Earth, as are the other fifty people that were brought here to the research facility,” the doctor said.

“What are you talking about? Give me my son!” Libby said as she struggled against the restraints.

“Do not waste your energy. You cannot free yourself. If you upset the others, I will have to sedate you,” the doctor said.

“I’m inside the research facility?” Libby said.

“Indeed. You have been here for a week. When our research is finished you will be assigned a pod until we can arrange transport back to Earth,” the doctor said.

“What about my life here? What about the last five years?” Libby said.

“It has all been a simulation. We are conducting studies to find out how alien species react to various situations. You were selected for an emotional trauma study,” the doctor said.

“So, I never met Satok. I never got married, and I never had a child,” Libby said.

“That is correct. Try to rest,” the doctor said.

Libby closed her eyes as tears began to fall. She drifted off to sleep and dreamt of her son cradled in her arms sleeping peacefully while her husband sat beside her with his arm around her as they talked softly about everything. About their future. A future that would never exist.

Submitted: May 03, 2021

© Copyright 2021 Humble Butterfly. All rights reserved.

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Ann Sepino

Great story! The suspense in every paragraph is palpable and the double plot twist at the end is a neat touch! The ending also leaves room for possible expansions, which is a very smart thing to do. :)

Wed, May 5th, 2021 2:06am

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