“B.L.E.U. is an algorithm for evaluating the quality of text which has been machine-translated from one natural language to another. Quality is considered to be the correspondence between a machines output and that of a human: “the closer a machine translation is to a professional human translation, the better it is” – this is the central idea behind B.L.E.U.”
The rock felt cold against my hand which was strange to me.
The feeling was strange.
The only time I’d felt cold before, was the last time I had visited earth. It had been 7 days since I’d returned to my home planet Tesra, the hidden moon beyond Pluto, which humans were no longer calling a planet.
Tesra was a planet made of snow, although it never snowed. Its aliens, as humans would call us, were not affected by the so called cold. I, in fact hadn’t the slightest meaning of the word until I had visited earth for the first time using my husbands’ portal scroll.
The portal scroll had been created by my husband’s father Elsurith when our people came to be some thousand years ago. Most of our people were captured and killed when the humans found us, dwelling among them. They were afraid of the different, and of the new, even though we posed no threat to them. Our race died quickly, with few left to carry on the species.
There used to be 10 scroll portals. There were 9 which the elders had created and the 1 that Elsurith made himself. However, Elsurith kept his hidden, away from everyone, even those he felt he could trust. He never used it for himself, but, before his death he gave it to his only son Lusighus, my husband. Lusighus entrusted myself with its abilities, though he warned me never to use it…and to never trust the humans of earth.
Eight scrolls were destroyed, when our people were captured on earth. However, one came into the hands of the humans, who quickly figured out how to transport themselves to Tesra. With this discovery they transported enough scientists to build a dome within which to live and study our planet. Of course the cold was bearable for them, but it was the 2% ammonia gas in the air which they were unable to breath. The most important problem being that the humans only knew how to transport themselves here, though there wasn’t a wise one amongst them who could figure out how to use the scroll to transport themselves back, to earth.
I kept my hand against the rock, entranced by the cold that tingled my extensions as I settled the flat edges of my fingers against its ruff backside. The rock had crystals inside. I could see them, with my mind. There were several colors which glowed beneath. I could see right through the rock with my second eye lids slid above the outer sphere. Sometimes it was difficult to concentrate without the use of them, though my husband discouraged that too.
“Playing with your rocks again? And what do you hope to find this time Miskra?” Lusighus asked as he entered the room keeping close his bag across his shoulder blades.
“I am writing,” I said without breaking concentration.
I waved my hand above the rock, as bits of ground in splinters dispersed, and the purple crystals appeared from beneath. To the human eye, this would have been near impossible to see.
“Writing? Don’t tell me, Ma…” he said when I interrupted.
“Yes, Math. I’ve created another Algorithm. This time it will work. I tested several human rocks and I think this one will,” I stopped as he steadily came to my side.
I looked up at Lusighus who had glared down at me. His left ear had turned to the side of his head as if he’d heard something from beyond the icy walls of our home.
“You think that this is the one? You think this one will work? Am I right in guessing so?” Lusighus asked taking a firm hold of my wrist with his disheveled tail which was splintering off at the tip from age. He was ready to shed his final skins, though he hated the thought of being young again.
When Tesraites shed their skin they’re rejuvenated two hundred years back. Along with this, they lose all their knowledge and forget parts of their past. That way they can never hold grudges or become engaged over time. It would be too dangerous if a Tesraite were to truly get angry, since that has so much to do with our concentration.
“Yes. It will!” I said taking my hand back.
“The one way you would be able to test it is if you came close enough to the human’s bio-dome computer to test it, and, well…you’re not going anywhere near there. I forbid it!” Lusighus urged grimly walking away.
“You can’t stop me,” I said as I closed my upper eye lids and honed in on the center of the rock. My hand jilted above in an upright position as I read it from the inside and the lettering of my algorithm appeared along the brim and down towards the center, facing me.
The crackling sound echoed throughout the icy cave. The lines appeared more distinct as I continued. A glowing purple center came to the surface as I wrote the Algorithm for the mathematical equation I called, B.L.E.U.
“Are you quite finished?!” Lusighus asked, keeping his distance from me. For he knew that if you were to disturb a Tesraite mid-concentration he could set off an explosion, that would destroy the entire planet. It was the one rule which all Tesraite’s obeyed. For it had been set in stone, some thousand years ago.
“Are you finished?” he asked in a quieter tone.
“I am,” I said raising my outer eye lid and resuming my heavy breathing, in order to bring myself back to a more normal state.
“What do you plan on doing with it?” Lusighus asked, as if suddenly his strength against me had diminished when he saw the look in my eyes.
“I’m going to take it to the humans. And they will,” I said rising to my feet and tail, which kept me balanced against the snowy ground.
“They can’t. They won’t. Even if you could get one of them to listen to you they couldn’t bring your son back. They couldn’t…bring our son back, Miskra,” Lusighus said coming back to face me.
His tail waved its way behind me and against my back, until he had pulled me up to his gills at the right side of his face. The opening flapped back and forth, a luring measure I had once fallen in love with. However now, I felt that he carried doubts in his mind about me, which had made it difficult to see inside him, and what he was really thinking.
“I have to try!” I said forcefully shoving him aside, still he caught me and brought me back.
“What makes you think they’ll listen?” Lusighus urged.
“They’ll listen because they want a way back…back to their planet. I will show them, after they have given me the cells I need to recreate my son, our son. Don’t you want to be with him again Lusighus? Don’t you want to be able to look at him, and see him swim in the snow, and watch his gills take in their first breath of ammonia? You know that you do. You hurt, just as much as I do, but we both know that I am the only one who could create an algorithm to make it happen,” I said as I took a step away from him staring off into the empty space in front of me, for a moment.
Lusighus came up from behind, intertwining his tail with mine as he stood beside me and closed his outer eye lids. I could sense what he was doing, even though I did not glance over at him. And so, I did the same. Our extensions met between us at the flat tips of our fingers suctioned against one another as we witnessed the same memory with which I had carried with me, all that time.
The day was bright amongst the fog haze of orange glistening ammonia as we stood, Lusighus and me, with our son, Druveniah.
“Come on, you can make it Druveniah. Use your tail. It will keep you balanced, as you swim through the snow,” Lusighus said holding his right arm out to him.
“Come on my sweet, sweet Druveniah. Mommy’s here,” I said as I knelt down, firmly planting my front side into the snow.
It was then that Druveniah leapt up into the air and caught a hold of my tail that was wavering about. He then used his tail to hang from mine, as his father rolled over and laughed, and I smiled, as tears of joy welt up in my face.
The tears remained under my outer eye lids until I removed them, thereby removing my tears all at once. I turned to face Lusighus, who had just done the same, though a tear had managed to escape and continue to fall down his face until it formed itself, unable to go any further.
“Do you really want to forget about him?” I asked, barely able to speak.
“I don’t want to forget about him. I never did. It’s just that, the humans, they’ll never understand that we mean no harm to them. It was them who took our son away from us, and it is them whom we mustn’t trust,” Lusighus said breaking the tear at his cheek as his tail let go of mine.
“They know things Lusighus. They know how to create medicines that can cure the ill and maintain the weak. They know how to grow things like cells that can create new life, our life, so that we can be whole again. Isn’t that what we were made for, on this planet, to create new life?
The elders once spoke of the human race as a people that could combine with us and create a new world, a world where there is no law, and no fighting or killing. A world where there is only peace and happiness. It is I who have the responsibility of bringing Tesraite’s and Humans together, and in turn, bringing our son back.
“How can you trust them, when it is they who killed him?” Lusighus said throwing his arm aside in order to grab a hold of his tail so that it might not get too angry with thought of its own.
“They thought us dangerous before. It was our mistake for assuming that they would accept us in their world without showing them that we could be trusted. They acted as any other species would have. They wanted to protect their kind, and so they have, up until now,” I said walking back to him.
I came in close to the right side of his gill which was breathing excessively with frustration.
“Do you really think I don’t hurt as much as you do? Do you think I don’t have that same anger for the humans as you do? But we must forgive, Lusighus. We must forgive and give them a reason to trust us, so that our species of Tesraite’s will live on beyond our years,” I said clenching the tears that kept appearing and disappearing beneath my outer eye lid.
My heart stopped for a moment, and I pressed my right extension against his heart until the suction cups could listen in on his body.
I could feel his suffering, and his hurt. It was the same hurt that I had, had, for such a long time. His face, fleeted with doubt, brought a cloud of fear against the tears that had then cascaded onto his chest before he spoke.
“But…what if they kill you too? I…I could never bare to lose you both. Not when I still have another thousand years to live…without you,” he muffled in between spouts of tears that glistened and shined as bright as the white snow beneath our feet.
“It won’t come to that…” I hesitated, then continued, “I will show them the way, and they will be made to understand,” I said settling my head against his as our gills rested against one another and the ammonia flowed in and out, reviving our senses.
“Give me the scroll,” I said to him.
Lusighus reached behind him, pulling at the bag he had strapped across his back. His flat extensions suctioned themselves above the diamond shaped lock at the center, which lit up in a haze of red as the code was input and the hard shell slid to one side.
The pack opened, mixing with the air that caused a hazy smoke all around him. Lusighus reached inside and pulled out the scroll.
“Go quickly, and find a way to bring back our son,” Lusighus said handing the scroll over to me.
I took the scroll from him, making no effort to look down at it. My eyes were transfixed on his, as our emotions met and we were thinking as one, again. He said nothing more as I retrieved the rock which I had imprinted the algorithm upon, making my way towards the long hallway.
“Miskra!” he yelled out, catching up to me.
“Yes, Lusighus,” I replied stopping for a moment.
“I love you,” he said pulling me close.
Our lips collided in an explosion of green that oozed from the sides of our mouths as we secreted the liquid of passion between us. It is said that when a Tesraite finds their mate their kiss will determine if they are meant for one another. Our secretion was green and tasted like liquid honey, to put it in human terms.
It was delightful, and fulfilling.
We kissed and held one another for the following moments, until we both knew, I needed to go. Lusighus stepped away from me, letting me walk up ahead.
“I love you to. Goodbye Lusighus,” I said, waiving my tail at him from the end of the hall.
With his tail, he waved back, then made his way inside, closing the ice wall behind him.
There was no wind nor rain that day.
I could hardly see through the fog, for the direction I was traveling appeared as any other. Still, I knew where to go.
I was met with a dim light that cascaded in front of me in an elongated stream that reached my feet.
Squinting, I looked up at it when I noticed some lettering at the top of what looked to be the dome I was looking for. The letters read, Human Facility, all others check in at the gate. I could read their human language, so I understood what it meant. When I had visited earth I spent most of my time at this place called Harvard University, because their snow was like ours. It made me feel quite at home for a while, and I was able to conceal my tail and gills by wrapping material around the parts of my body I did not wish to show, though my tail sometimes acted as it pleased.
It was there that I had learned all about the sciences and laws of the states, as well as in some other parts of their world, which I had yet to discover. Earth was such a big planet, a lot bigger than Tesra.
I kept a strong hold of the scroll and my earth rock as I approached the gate. There were wires that elongated themselves far above, entrapping themselves between the metal bars that held the door together.
I walked over and inspected it further.
My extensions came out from my right hand and I closed my eyes in order to concentrate and hone in on its inner workings. I hadn’t noticed at first, but there was a small camera that had been waving back and forth, taking in every ounce of my appearance, which would have been what humans called to be naked.
I had rather large breasts that sat above a well fit body, though I was smoothed over all around, due to the slimy outer skin that Tersaite’s possessed. It was what kept us from feeling the cold. Though there was no such thing as cold, on our planet.
A loud voice echoed around me when I noticed an upstanding box beside me, for which I could fit inside, possibly in order to enter that place.
“Who are you?” A voice boomed.
“What are you doing Stephen? They’re aliens. They don’t understand our language,” another voice said.
“What are you talking about? Don’t you remember, they were living among us, on our planet? I’m sure that she can understand,” the first voice echoed.
“What should we do?”
“Let her into the box,” the first voice continued.
I understood what they meant though I could not see what persons the voices were coming from.
I walked over to the box and stepped inside, closing the door behind. It was a small compartment with barely enough room to move about. There was a telephone against one of the walls and a small computer beside it. My eyes widened at the sight of it knowing that I could use it.
I placed the rock and the scroll beside me on a side table as I began to type.
“What is it that you want?” a voice asked.
“I tnaw ot etacinummoc htiw ouy. I ma gnikool rof eht tsitneics ohw nac trevnoc ym mhtirogla otni a efil mrof, edisni em. Fi ouy mac od siht rof em, neht I lliw wohs ouy woh ot teg kcab ot rouy emoh tenalp, htrae,” I said in my own language.
I took up the rock beside me and began to input the formula into the computer, hoping that it would translate the message to them.
“What is she doing? We should kill her, before she breaks inside and kills us all,” one voice echoed.
“No, no wait. Look at what she’s doing,” The man said as he read along with her computing abilities and the message which she was trying to portray, came clearly across his screen.
“Look Marcus! Look at what she has done,” he said amused as he turned Marcus towards his screen while the sentences formed, one after another, and they could understand her:
I want to communicate with you. I am looking for a scientist who can convert my algorithm into a life form, inside me. If you can do this for me, then I will show you how to get back to your home planet, earth.
“What should we do, Tobias?” Marcus’s fellow scientist asked.
I began panting in fear, which was what Tesraite’s did when they were afraid of something.
In that moment I was scared, when their voices stopped, and I heard silence.
I had been holding the scroll firmly in my left hand the entire time, knowing that if I must, I would be able to escape to earth once more, stay there for a while, and then return to my cave with Lusighus. But he was counting on me. He wanted me to get our son back. So I was determined to stay and do as they commanded in order to get the cells that I needed.
“lliw ouy pleh em?” I asked.
“What, did she say?” a voice asked.
“Yes. We will,” another voice responded as a large crane like object appeared from above, grabbed a hold of the box at the top and carried me above the barrier. It took me to the flat wall at the top of the dome, where an opening appeared below. The opening closed itself once I was inside, while the door on the box I was in, opened, and I was free to move about, if I wanted.
The air was a little difficult to take in at first, because it matched that of earth’s high oxygen levels. It took me a moment to adapt, forcing myself to close my gills against the right side of my face.
“Here, this will help,” a tall man said as he approached me from behind. I immediately hopped away, but watched carefully.
“There is ammonia in this patch. It will help you breathe.” He approached slowly with a small shorter man behind, hunched over in fear, probably form my enormous size.
“Be careful Tobias. She could…she could,” Marcus said in fear. “She won’t harm us, as long as we’re kind to her,” Tobias said still edging towards me with a slimy object, which he wanted me to take.
I crawled over to him carefully, a thing that Tesraite’s only did when they were curious of a thing. My tail swayed above me as I got down on all fours and began to sniff my way closer to the man in the white coat which dragged a little behind him.
He was human.
I could tell that for certain. Still, I wasn’t sure that I could trust him; not yet anyway.
I kept the scroll at my side, held tightly beneath my left arm. I then allowed my tail to take the rock from my right extension so that I had free fingers with which to take the object from him.
“It’s amazing! Don’t you think, Marcus?”
Hunched down, a great deal below the man’s hand, I showed my submission to him. He handed the object over and I placed it against the right side of my face.
The ammonia flowed through me, and I was grateful.
I stood back on two feet and leaned against my tail, calling out in happiness, a thing that Tesraite’s did when they were happy.
I smiled at the two men in appreciation, holding the rock out towards them, whilst I bared all four of my rather sharp fangs.
“Wha…what, what is she doing? She’s going to eat us!”
“Nonsense Marcus. She’s just smiling. And keep your voice down. We don’t want to make her angry.”
“Tobias. What do you mean smiling? That looks frightening to me, much like a dinosaur’s grin. And no good ever came from a smiling dinosaur.”
“Marcus, calm down. Everything will be fine.”
“What is that?”
“I think it’s a rock. I think she wants to give it to me.”
“Why would she want to give you a rock? What’s so special about it?”
“I’ll ask her.”
I listened to their conversation, realizing that they were not a treat, and quite like the kind humans I had once encountered on earth.
“What, is your name?” the one called Tobias asked as he took the rock from me, and my tail went back to its gentle wavering above my head.
“ereh, tel em wohs ouy,” I said as I gestured Tobias to place the rock on the ground for a moment.
He understood, and followed my lead.
“This is our Nature Room, where we’ve created the scenery to look like our forests on earth. There are some small animals that inhabit this room. Of course, they too will not pose a threat to you,” Tobias said.
I huddled myself closer to the rock on the floor, taking a moment to look around the room. I could smell things that reminded me of earth. There were the pine trees, and the fruitfulness of the air, which I knew came from red and yellow roses. They were my favorite thing, my favorite plant, from earth. It was if they never stopped smelling like honey, like, my husband’s kisses.
I leaned over to Tobias, stretching out my neck towards him, sniffing the front of his white coat.
“Tobias. Do something,” Marcus whispered.
“Don’t worry. Everything will be fine. Just let her…” Tobias said as I raised my right hand above the rock and closed my outer eyelids.
“What’s that, in her other hand?” Marcus asked.
“Quiet,” Tobias nodded towards him, then looked back at me.
I concentrated on the inside of the rock.
I could see it responding to me, as the bright purple shards shown at the ridges and the humans were brought to see the glowing light.
“Oh my goodness. She really has created an algorithm. She can manipulate the elements and write mathematical equations!” Tobias whispered, tilting his head back to Marcus without turning to face him.
“How is that possible? Look at the light. There must be crystals inside there,” Marcus said.
“There are. Look at the purple beams of light shining out from beneath. It’s almost as if they are saying something. I think that I can read it.
I can read it,” Tobias uttered.
“What does it say? What is the equation?” Marcus asked, seeming less afraid as he came out from behind Tobias and began to look for himself.
“It is called, B.L.E.U,” Tobias said as the two read the rest of the encryption together.
“B.L.E.U. is an algorithm for evaluating the quality of text which has been machine-translated from one natural language to another. Quality is considered to be the correspondence between a machines output and that of a human: “the closer a machine translation is to a professional human translation, the better it is” – this is the central idea behind B.L.E.U.”
“Is that what she typed into the computer before? Is that why the computer was able to translate her speech patterns for us?” Marcus asked.
“Yes. It is. That is exactly it,” Tobias said.
“What should we do with it?” Marcus asked.
“She said she wanted something in exchange for this algorithm,” Tobias said as he began to smile.
“And that she would show us, or tell us how we could get back to earth. What is she holding in her left hand there? It looks familiar,” Marcus said.
“I think that she wants…a baby,” Tobias said.
I broke my concentration, opened my outer eye lids, transfixing myself on Tobias’s face. I attempted to smile again, in order to show them, to show him that he was right.
When I did so, they back away in fear. So I stopped.
I instead, held out my right extension and placed my flat fingers towards him until they were touching Tobias’s chest, below his coat, beneath his undergarments. He was quite hesitant at first, but was willing to except my touch.
“I. I think she wants me to feel something,” Tobias said.
He was right in thinking so, but I took no time in speaking to him in my Tesraite tongue. I needed him to feel, and see what I saw.
The connection can quickly as the memory came to him in a flash. I showed him my people, how we were created, and how we came to be. I showed him my husband and our son that we had lost. Most importantly, I showed him that our species was not a threat to humans, and that we could live peacefully with one another.
The strength of the visions caused Tobias to fall back on the ground.
I stood back and watched for a moment, when the sound of a bird caught my attention and I began to wander off to the right side of the enclosure.
There was solid dirt, earth, beneath me. It was sticking to my slimy florescent skin, making me uncomfortable.
“What happened Tobias? What did she do to you?” Marcus asked.
“What did you see?”
“Everything,” Tobias said coming to his feet before continuing, “I saw her people, her race, and how they began, how they lived. They’re a lot like us, except they feel quite a bit more than we do. They’re a peaceful species. They can help us. She, can help us get back to our planet. We can trust her,” Tobias said.
“That’s what you saw?”
“Yes. But there is one last thing. She, her name is Miskra, and she has a husband named Lusighus. They once had a baby together named Druveniah. They’re son was killed by humans, on earth when we fought against them. She wants her son back, in exchange for this algorithm called B.L.E.U. If we can regrow him, inside of her then she will show us the way back, using the portal scroll,” Tobias said quickly, coming to his feet as Marcus assisted him.
“We can’t regrow her son!” Marcus uttered loud enough for me to hear, as I walked steadily back to them, coming particularly close to Marcus.
I sniffed at his coat and the air that escaped from my face clouded Marcus causing him to cough.
I smiled at him, glaring my teeth once more.
“Well, there is that cell experiment we’ve been doing on the dogs. It’s almost ready for human testing. I suppose we could try implanting it within her. The only problem is that, we don’t have any cells, from her son to work with,” Marcus said as I took a step back and reached into the back of my mouth, producing a small tooth, which I immediately handed over.
It was small in size, and covered in green ooze, but it was Druveniah’s. I had kept it lodged between my two back teeth since he died, so that I could continue to keep him close to me. It was something I kept from Lusighus, thinking that he might not want me to keep it.
“That should work,” Tobias said as he watched me drop the tooth in Marcus’s hands.
“Let’s get her ready,” Tobias said.
“What about the others?” Marcus asked.
“We won’t tell them about her. They’ll want to kill her. I’m sure of it. Some of the men here, lost their lives to the people from this planet, when they were really just trying to protect themselves. We’ll take her to room L7C, with the utmost discretion,” Tobias said.
“Go and get the heavy white tarp. We’ll need it to cover her. We can wheel her in on one of the larger beds. Go,” Tobias ordered.
I looked up at the place from where the crane had brought me in. The opening was round and was sealed in a circular position. I thought that it must have been made out of metal, a substance humans used often to build and contain things, as they were now containing me.
It was because I showed him, that I knew he understood.
It was because I could understand their language that I obeyed, and followed his orders in keeping completely still as they transported me.
I couldn’t see around the tarp as they moved me, since my head was facing downward.
Although, I did see many colors, which I assumed meant different things for the different room that we passed. We even stopped for a moment, which made me nervous, when Tobias had a conversation with another man that was wearing a long white coat which almost reached the floor.
Then we arrived, in room L7C.
I assumed that this would be the place where they would impregnate me with my son again. I had high hopes that they could proceed as promised.
Tobias and Marcus removed the tarp, and I was able to get off the bed they had wheeled me in on, and make my way to a new one, which they instructed me to lie on my back, facing upwards.
“Here. May I take the scroll now? I promise to keep it safe. I’ll put it over there on the wall, where you can see it,” Tobias said.
I was reluctant at first, but I let him do as he wished.
I lie there on my back, as I watched him place the scroll in a glass compartment against the wall. It was lined in a gold like color with a heavy latch which was password protected. Since I could see into his mind, I could easily memorize the combination, and felt safe with it there. Besides, I knew that they were keeping one in the facility already, with limited understand of how to use it.
Tobias came to me, and replaced my gill cover with a new one.
I began to breathe slowly as he removed it, then returned to my heavy breathing, once it was replaced.
“We’re going to have to strap you down and put you to sleep, for the…surgery,” Tobias said, coming close to my right side before continuing, “I promise. We will not harm you while you’re asleep.”
“Here, take this blanket. She might get cold during the…” Marcus said when Tobias interrupted.
“No. No, she won’t be needing that. They’re temperature is quite warm. Her temperature is quite warm. It is why the cold, the snow hasn’t the slightest effect on them. It is why they don’t need clothes. It’s what they’re made of,” Tobias said as he placed a small breathing device over my mouth and nose.
It was clear with a long tube attached. There was a strap that ran along the back side of it which he swung over my upright ears, as I breathed in the fumes that smelled of lilac and honeysuckle. The scents danced about my head as the room fell into a haze and I had soon fallen, into a deep sleep.
“Mommy! Mommy? Are you awake?” I heard as I slowly came to.
I woke to a field of blossoming flowers and green hillsides, quickly assuming that I was once again on earth.
“Mommy…” a voice echoed about my head then left again as I turned to find its owner.
“Mommy. I’m over here. Come and find me…” the voice continued.
“Druveniah…is…that you?” I asked still quite dazed in my stance, though my tail was doing very little to keep me balanced, when I realize, my tail, was…gone.
My extensions came out in front of me when I realized that they were not as I had expected them to be. I had arms, and hands, and two legs, as the humans did. And, I was wearing clothing, from head to foot, with shoes, brown unlaced boots that were barely holding on.
“What is…what’s happening? Where are the scientists?” I wondered but could do little to move at the speed I wished. I assumed that I was now a human and therefore was a lot slower than as a Tesraite.
But what was I doing there, standing in the field? And, where had the scientists gone? And what was that… I tried desperately to place it all together when I heard the voice, again.
“Mommy. Come and find me. I need your help…” it echoed, this time somewhere off to my right, as my head turned, and I listened.
“Druveniah! I’m coming. I’m coming to find you!” I yelled as I took off in the direction that lead me to a bundle of trees with thin trunks and large entangled branches that swayed in the whispering wind.
I looked down at my clothing, recognizing it to be a pale pink dress with trimmed lace. It was the kind that I had always imagined wearing, if I were human, while on earth.
I quickly brought my hands to my face and felt cold.
My hands were cold, and the atmosphere was making me colder, as I stood there, still in a daze.
“I’m coming Druveniah,” I said again as I stepped inside the forest. The ground was mucky and dark. The longer I walked the heavier my steps became as I continued on. The branches of the trees began to crowd me. It was in the next instant that I found myself, fighting them off with fierceness in my heart, and desperation in my new human body.
I soon found myself stuck.
My feet sank into the floor, as I listened for Druveniah’s voice, which was fading off into the distance.
My heart paced itself as I slowly succumbed to my defeat in the darkening woods. My eyes closed, as the rest of my body sunk down into the ground, and I was consumed by the quickening sand.
“Miskra. Miskra, how do you feel? Can you hear me?” a voice asked, when I realized that it was Tobias, who I saw standing beside me, as I lay strapped to the bed.
“I don’t think she can hear you,” Marcus said, standing off in the corner of the room feverishly making notes on a clipboard.
“Miskra, ah there you are. How do you feel?” he asked again when his image came into focus.
“I ma enif,” I said realizing I was speaking in my own tongue and that neither of them would be able to understand me.
“Here. Type it,” Tobias said as he rolled over the small computer which I had used before to translate, using my algorithm.
I reached out my right extension as my flat fingers typed each letter, slowly, and the two scientists were brought to understand.
“Look. She said, she’s fine. Oh good. I’m glad to hear it. And you’ll also be glad to hear that we were successful in transferring the cells into your, version of a human womb. I’ll admit, it was a little tricky to find but, we found it and implanted the cells. In fact I think that the baby is growing, already,” Tobias said as he led my extension to my stomach that was oddly humped over at the center, as well as the bottom.
“Why is the baby growing so fast? Is that really possible?” Marcus asked, still keeping his pen to paper, being careful not to miss a word that passed Tobias’s lips.
“Yes. It is possible, for Tesraite’s. They grow at an exceedingly swift rate, especially their children, while still inside their mother’s body,” Tobias said.
“How do you know this? Oh, right, she showed you,” Marcus said, suddenly remembering what had happened earlier.
“It’s amazing how much I know now about here people. I almost feel as if I were one of them. It’s strange to be honest. It’s giving me that same feeling I felt after watching that movie about the Holocaust. There are some things which are far too terrible to have experienced yourself, let alone through the eyes of another,” Tobias said as he turned, and spoke directly towards Marcus.
“Tobias look. She’s tell you something,” Marcus said as I typed another message and Tobias leaned in to read it.
“What is it?”
“On no. No, no, no, no, no, no, no.”
“What is it!?”
“She’s going to have the baby.”
“Well of course she’s going to have a baby, we just impreg…wha, what do you mean, now?”
“Yes now, right now!”
“ti struh!!” I grunted.
“What did that mean?”
“I can’t say for sure but I’m sure it was something that had to do with a lot of pain. Come here, and help me get her legs up. She’s going to deliver now!”
The two men brought my legs up on either side as Tobias unstrapped my arms so that I might move about more freely, as my tail slowly swayed at my side.
My breathing slowed, when Tobias came and replaced my gill covering with another. The ammonia filled my lungs with ease as I quickly took it in.
Then the pain came.
It swiftly took over my speech as words failed me, and I was unable to communicate, through typing, how I felt. Although, from the looks on their faces it seemed as though they understood a great deal what I was feeling.
“Why did you do that? She should be restrained. She might kill us with her strength,” Marcus yelled.
“She won’t kill us! It’s hard enough having to feel the pains of contractions, let alone being told that you have to lie still while you’re going through it! Just make sure she doesn’t fall off the bed. I’ll stay here, at the bottom, ready to catch the baby when it crowns,” Tobias said as I looked down in the area of which he spoke.
“I think it’s already crowning Tobias, look.”
Tobias looked up at me with a strange hesitance in his eyes. Then he looked back towards the baby, who had already let out its head, and began to cry.
“My word…” Tobias’s calmness lent in a little calmness of my own. My breathing quickened and I resumed my normal state, as I pushed out the rest of my child limbs, and his fail, slimy body, fell into the hands of the scientist.
His white coat, at his arms had resumed a new color of green and red. I knew the green was from me, but the red I was unsure about.
I was tired, even though the even passed so quickly.
I glanced up at the ceiling as the bright fluorescent lights glared back down at me.
The baby cried again, in his arms as I reached over to the computer and typed.
“What does she want?”
“To hold him, of course,” Tobias said handing him to me.
“You mean, it’s a boy, it’s her son. The same son, you mentioned before?”
“I’m not sure.”
“But he looks so…so human.”
“I just realized that,” Tobias said as he looked up at me.
My arms revealed my extensions that brought him in, closer to me, as I gazed down at him.
He did look, and seem different, he appeared human. My breathing slowed as I began to worry.
“Here. Give me another patch for her gills, I think sh’e already used up the last one,” Tobias said as he carefully replaced the old with the new, coming to my side.
Tobias stood there as I looked down at my son, my Druveniah, and I happily bared my teeth.
“Look. She’s happy,” Tobias said motioning Marcus to come over.
“I can see that. No thank you. I’m just fine over here. That smile still scares me, quite a bit.”
“Druveniah,” I said aloud.
“I think I understood that.”
“That’s, her sons name?”
“Yes. But he is human. Or at least I think he is.”
“Maybe it’s because of the cells. Let’s test him. Don’t you think we should? I mean to see if he is all together human, born of a Tesraite.”
“How do you suppose we go about that?”
“You know here. You said she’s shown you everything. What’s something that they can do, something that only Tesraite’s can do? Can you, think of something?”
“I think I see how you mean. Yes. Let me think. I know, their eyes. I’ll check his eyes first,” Tobias said as he reached into his upper front coat pocket and revealed a long metal device that contained a light at one end.
I knew this item to be a flash light, and so I let him proceed with his checking.
“His eyes are blue, like his mothers,” he said using the instrument on me for a moment.
“Well that’s normal enough.”
“But the center. If you look closely, you can see the ring. There is a golden ring that flickers against direct light, almost like a ripple in an untouched lake. We humans, we don’t have this, in our eyes.”
“And, what else can you check?”
“His reflexes I suppose. They should withstand a great deal, if, he has the strength of his mother,” Tobias said as he turned back to Marcus and motioned his head as if he were looking for something around him.
“That book on the shielf behind you. Throw it at the baby,” Tobias said, though I heard very little form them on, wanting desperately to continue watching my beautiful baby as his fingers clasped tightly against my right extension.
“Throw the book, at the baby, are you mad?”
“Yes. I’m mean, no, no, I’m not crazy, and it will be fine. If the baby does not react, Miskra will deflect it with her tail, it will be an instinctual response. Trust me.”
“I don’t think I should.”
I looked up at Marcus, then leaned over with one of my flat fingers and typed into the computer beside me.
“What did she say?”
“She said it’s alright, and that she won’t hurt you.”
“Are you sure?”
“Sure, I’m sure.”
“Well okay then,” Marcus said as he lifted up the book in his right hand, and flung the book at Druveniah.
I could see the whole thing play out in slow motion at first, wondering if he would react. Knowing that it would be alright if he didn’t.
In the next instant the book had reached Druveniah’s side and an extension emerged suddenly. One that neither I nor the scientist expected.
It was long and white and came out on either side. It had a long sturdy frame that held together pleated feathers. The things surrounded his body in the shape of an egg, as it deflected the book, opened upwards lifting him into the air above me, as he momentarily floated, then slowly swayed down, back into my arms.
“Are those…wings?” Marcus asked.
“Yes. I think they are,” Tobias said in glorious awe of it all.
“But Tesraite’s don’t…they don’t, can’t…fly, can they?” Marcus stuttered.
“No. They can’t. Wait, Marcus. What did you cross the cells with? What was the last testing subject you used before dogs?” Tobias asked looking confused.
“It was…birds, a bird I think.”
“What kind of bird?”
“A swan,” Marcus said as the two continued to stare at one another as I watched my son, while carefully listening to their conversation.
“A swan. So that means he’s, part human, part Tesraite, and part swan.”
“Are you still sure he’s human?”
“Well he looks human doesn’t he? I think that if he were on earth right now, no one would mistake him for an alien. I mean, a Tesraite.”
“I suppose your right. And, look at that. His wings are gone again. It’s as if they were never there, as if he can hide them when he pleases.”
“I see that too.”
“What should we do now?”
“We have to find a way to get her out of here, so that she can go back to her home, and her husband.”
“But the others.”
“I know. We’ll have to find a way for us to get past them. We can leave her in her for the night. We’ll cover up the windows from the inside and lock her in. No one will be able to get inside with our code. In the morning we’ll take her back to the forest room and set her free from there,” Tobias said.
“Alright,” Marcus agreed as the two walked over to the door.
“But what about the scroll? She still hasn’t told us how to get back to earth.”
“We’ll ask her in the morning. I think she’s been through enough for now,” Tobias said, smiling back at me as the scientist made their way towards the door, locking myself and my son inside.
The lights were dimmed once they left, making it easier for me to sleep, keeping my baby close at hand. Druveniah did what humans called, yawning a couple of times, before he fell into a deep slumber himself.
I had fallen asleep, and in the next instance, I was awake again, only to find that Druveniah was no longer in my arms.
“Druveniah,” I whispered, in my own tongue.
“Yes Mommy. I’m here,” a voice responded as I looked under the bed I had been lying on and found him huddled up beneath it reading a book, which was the one that had been thrown at him earlier.
“Do you know how amazing earth people are mommy? Mommy, am I a human, or a Tesraite?” he asked.
I was surprised to see that Druveniah had grown in size, as well as in age. He looked to be about eight years old in human years, and all this had happened over the course of a couple of hours.
“Whish am I mommy?” he asked again.
“You’re a…wait, you can understand the Tesraite tongue in which I am speaking to you?” I asked.
“I guess I can. I have learned a lot of human words too, just from reading this book. What kind of book is it mommy?”
I looked down at the human thing that which he held up to me.
“It’s a dictionary Druveniah. It’s where humans keep their words, their language.
“Why would they keep their language in a book, wouldn’t the words get scared being left alone in there, all by themselves?”
“I don’t know. Perhaps you’re right my child. I never took the time to ask that question, while I lived on earth.”
“You lived on earth? What was it like?”
“It’s beautiful Druveniah. It’s filled with things called buildings and trees, and land, and animals that you can eat, whenever you like. And the humans, well most humans are kind and gentle creatures. Although I did come across some who were mean and untamed.”
“Can I go there mommy. It sounds wonderful!”
“Druveniah I don’t think,” I said taking him into my arms as the two of us settled down on the floor together.
There was a heavy sound, coming from the other side of the door. It was unfamiliar to me, and when I closed my outer eye lids to focus in on the beings I couldn’t recognize them as being familiar to me.
“The boss said we have to clean up every room. Now I don’t know about you, but I don’t like being woken up in the middle of the night because some shmuck, from B7C decided he wants to skimp out on his chores for the night. I really need my beauty sleep, if you know what I mean,” a man said laughing as he entered the room with another dressed in the same long white coat as the other scientists.
“Whoa. What is that?” a man yelled, once he took notice of us at the other end of the room.
“Is that a Tesraite? In here, but, but how did it get in here, and who is that boy it has got with it?” the other asked as they stood stunned in disbelief.
My senses flared inside of me as I read their unsteady heartbeat, sensing great danger within them, knowing in the next instant, that they could not be trusted.
“Get out, get out quick!” the one said to the other as I snouted, enraged at their intrusion, feeling that Tobias and Markus had betrayed me with their, supposed safety precautions.
Snouting was what our race, the Tesraites did when were frightened. To explain it in human terms it was the equivalent of a raging Tyrannosaurus Rex that had been picked and pocked at all day. The sound echoed and blazed within my soul and Druveniah’s, though he could feel it to. He could understand how I felt, with our connection, and that brought him to me, as he cowered beneath my chest and I placed myself on all fours against the floor, Snouting in all directions, possibly enough for the entire facility to take notice.
An alarm rang loud amidst speaker that were aimed downward in the high corners of the room.
“Alarm engaged. Security breached. Warning. Warning. Danger. A Tesraite has been found inside the facility.
I stomped over to the door, carrying my son beneath my body with my left extension.
I reached out for the humans, but they closed the door and sealed it, locking us inside before I could get to them.
I was afraid, and I wanted to explain. However, they were acting as they did when we were discovered on their planet.
They saw us as a threat, and I could see it in the two men’s eyes as they watched from the other side of the glass window, which I had accidentally removed the cover from.
More men gathered. One by one, the hall way was filled with them. But I couldn’t see Tobias. I couldn’t find him among so many faces. Marcus was not among the men either.
I was scared, and Druveniah could see it in my eyes, he could feel it.
“Set the room on fire!” a voiced boomed over the loud speaker.
“on, on od ton od that! ouy lliw llik su!” I cried out in our tongue, though no one understood me, nor could they hear me.
I looked up at the wall that had held the scroll, Lusighus’ scroll. I knew that I could use it. It was our only way out of there alive. So I walked over and input the code, as the seal unlocked and the small door slid open.
“What’s happening mommy?” Druveniah asked in a shaky tone as I held him close beneath me.
“Remember how you told me you wanted to go to earth?” I said gently to him stroking the top of his head as I did so.
“They’re dangerous. They must be burned immediately!” One yelled from behind the glass.
“But there’s a boy in there. Shouldn’t we save him?”
“It can’t be helped. It’s too late. She’ll attack him before we can save him,” another responded.
“Well. You can go there, right now, if you like. I can transport you there, using this device,” I said placing him down beside me as showed him how it worked.
“I can send you through to the planet, and you can stay there for a while, where it is safe. There is a family that I want you to ask for. Their last name is Sprinton. Whomever finds you, tell them to take you to their house, mention my name and that you’re my son. They’ll take care of you,” I said as tears began to swell up in my outer eye lids, knowing that I could not go with him.
“Aren’t you coming with me?” he asked staring up at me with his big beautiful eyes that searched for hope in mine, though I was having trouble providing that emotion for him.
“No. Not right now. Only one person or Tesraite can travel to earth with the scroll at a time. I can’t go with you right now. But I’ll come and find you…later. I promise,” I urged bringing him in close so that I could smell his skin and feel the soft touch of his face against my gills.
I could hear hi heart to, beating against the smooth rhythm which I had come to understand to be the sound of the ocean, as it settled against a silent shore.
I wanted to go with him, but I couldn’t.
The loud roar of the men beyond the window cascaded into a fog that I was drowning out from my ears as I watched my son, watching me, still searching for hope in my eyes.
I swallowed deeply and let a couple of tears reach my cheek and fall against my face.
He was so beautiful.
He was just as beautiful as I had seen him before, when he was a full blooded Tesraite.
Yet, in that moment I knew that, that would be the last time that I would see him. I knew that, that would be the last time that I would hold in, in any form, as my son. I had tried to bring our family back together, and the very different worlds together, as I had hoped they could be.
But, in that moment as I glanced down at him, clinging to my body with all the strength he could muster, I knew, that it wasn’t meant to be.
I had tried to force him back into this world, into my world, and I couldn’t keep him, because he was never meant to be mine in the first place. He was never meant to be in my arms through every tear and every moment of joy he expressed.
In that moment I knew, that he was meant for the people of earth, and that I was not the one that was meant to lead. It was him. It was him all along.
The tears were flowing from my outer eye lids like rain. With each wet drop Druveniah caught them and rubbed them against his face as he cried along with me.
I could tell that he was scared. I had to protect him, being his mother, and sending him to earth was the only way.
I then took up the scroll in my left extension and revealed my flat fingers against the outer lining, inputting the code as the material unrolled against the floor.
Bright yellows and green shown out and against us both as we looked down at the scroll.
“They’re trying to transport themselves back to earth. Hurry. We have to burn the room before they can get away!” A voiced yelled as the man pounded against the glass on the other side.
“You promise? You will come and find me?” Druveniah asked as he placed one leg inside the portal.
“I promise,” I said though the lie was difficult to say as it passed my lips and I chocked on the tears I needed to hold back in order to continue speaking to him.
“I will come and find you. Once, you are through the scroll you must reach up towards the sky and pull the scroll down with you. Keep it safe. Don’t let anyone ever know that you have it, not even the ones you love. And, I will come and find you. I….will…come and find you,” I said as he placed half his body through the portal and I held onto him from the other side.
“I love you Druveniah. You must know that now, and always,” I said as I let him slide out from beneath my grip and it was only our two hands that held onto one another.
“I love you to mommy, and…I understand,” Druveniah said as he let go and landed on the ground a few blocks off from the house the wanted him to find.
The day was sunny on earth that day. I could see all the beauty I had seen before, and I remembered the memories that I had, had, and how I would miss being there again.
“Countdown for incineration in 10…9…8”
I watched as Druveniah’s hand came up and he took down the scroll, closing the portal behind him.
The men were still pounding and watching intently, though they could not have seen him as he went back to earth.
I listened to the countdown as my death neared.
I climbed back onto the bed and closed my outer eye lids, honing in on my surrounding, concentrating deeply on the beings that crowded the outer door. I wondered where Tobias was and Marcus were and why they did not come to save me, and set myself and my son free as they had promised.
I wondered, but not for very long, since all I wanted to think about was the sight of Druveniah’s eyes, and the last moments I could feel him, close beside me.
“6…5…4…3…” the countdown continued as my heart beat slowed, and the life force I could control, which was the same focus I had held on the rock whilst creating my algorithm glowed around me in a fluorescent light, for all to see.
“2…1…” was the last thing I heard amongst a muttered, “No! Wait!” which I had assumed to be Tobias’ voice.
The room quickly filled with gas, and a flame was struck, as my life force exploded outwards, as would an atomic bomb in all directions, blowing the bio-dome to pieces, as burned bones as scattered scrap metal bounded about the planet Tesra.
I was left, lying amongst the snow, barely breathing.
There was still a heavy fog, as was the day before, amidst my near lifeless body, twitching against the ground as I looked up at the sky and watched as Tesra orbited around the Planet Pluto beyond the stars.
I wasn’t sure if I was alive, or dead.
All I could think of was Druveniah, and the promise I had made to him. My eyes fluttered from my inner eye lids to my outer ones as I came in and out of consciousness.
And, before I could fall asleep I managed to get the words to pass my lips, one last time.
“I promise Druveniah. One day….I will come…and find you.”