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Artemis 9: Part 3

Speak only truth

By Arthur ArmstrongPublished 2 years ago Updated about a year ago 12 min read
Artemis 9: Part 3
Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

The helicopter roared as its massive, spinning blades seemed to rip through the sky.

“So I have some questions,” I say as I gripped the harness around me tightly, “In the car you guys kinda threw a lot at me. I am having a bit of trouble processing everything.”

One of the men in black suits spoke into the microphone on his headset and his voice echoed into mine, “So what are the questions?”

“Well for one thing, how is any of this legal? And for two, what do you mean my dad “DISMEMBERED” someone? Are you kidding? AND there’s ALIENS that wanna enslave humanity and so the government made ME to stop them?? What the hell is this? At this point I feel like I might be better off just jumping out of this helicopter to avoid whatever fresh hell awaits me after this flight,” I said.

The two men in black suits stared at me behind their dark sunglasses. I could feel their judgement. Almost like a heat that grew in intensity the longer they stared.

The first man spoke, “Your father was a top performing soldier. He surpassed every obstacle and assignment he encountered with flying colors. His problem was that he was good and he knew it. A lot of soldiers in his platoon took this as arrogance and grew to despise him-“

“Well he was pretty arrogant about it. Sometimes he’d even make comments about how inferior the other soldiers were compared to him,” the second man interrupted.

“Wait, did you know my dad?” I asked, suddenly realizing that I HAD seen the second man before.

A memory flashed before my eyes of the family photo album growing up. My father kept a photo of a man in uniform. I always noticed the man was rather out of place because he was the only person in the entire album I didn’t know. When I’d asked my father who the man was, he only said, “A good man. He saved my life once.”

The first man continued, “The men in his platoon hated him after a while so they decided to throw a sock party for him. A sock party is-“

“I know what a ‘sock party’ is,” I interrupted, “please, continue.”

(For those who don’t know, a ‘sock party’ is when a group of very angry individuals take socks and fill them with hard things, like bars of soap. They then use those socks like a bludgeon on some poor sap that a lot of other angry folks are holding down. This is generally done by pulling the victim’s blanket down around them, as the victim is usually lying in their bunk, to hold the victim in place as they are bludgeoned severely. Sometimes until death.)

“Another soldier in the platoon told your father about the sock party, who then took it upon himself to address the situation in a way he saw fit. So he twisted the arm off of the soldier he believed was responsible for the idea,” the first man stated flatly.

“Are- are you serious right now? He twist- How is that even physically possible?” I asked, horrified.

“It’s a bit like twisting off a turkey leg. It isn’t ideal, it isn’t pretty, but it damn sure isn’t impossible either,” the second man said as his head dropped a bit, as if he felt a bit of shame or guilt.

In all fairness my dad was always a rather violent person, but holy shit.

The first man continued, “As a result of his actions, your father was given rigorous physical and psychological evaluations. The doctors confirmed your father suffered from a very specific condition. This particular condition is genetic and the genes for it, are practically identical to the genes in humanoid extraterrestrials that make them capable of telepathic and telekinetic abilities.”

“Using genetic engineering, a celestial volunteer, and your father’s desire to not go to military prison for the destruction of government property and treason, you were created,” the second man said.

“A celestial volunteer? Wha- woah so there’s ALIEN DNA INSIDE ME?!” I shouted, not realizing the intensity of my voice.

“Technically yes,” the first man said.

“Wait,” I said trying to collect myself, “so is my mom not my mom?”

“She is. Her egg was used and so was your father’s sperm. The good doctor just replaced and manipulated some DNA a bit. And, as we stated earlier, your mother carried you and gave birth to you,” the second man said.

“How the hell did you convince them to go along with this?” I asked as a numbness began to take over me.

“It wasn’t really that hard. If your father had been convicted, he’d have been imprisoned in a military prison for many years, if not his entire life. Your mother was unable to care for your older siblings by herself so she needed his help and she wouldn’t get that if he was convicted. Plus it helped that your father, despite nearly murdering a fellow soldier, still felt like a patriot and wanted to serve his country,” the first man said.

I sat in silence for a moment.

There’s no way this is real.

It is.

“Ah! The voice! You said the voice in my head is an agent-“

“Yes, you will meet them shortly,” the second man said, “Dr Adman will explain everything else to you later but for now, we’re here.”

I looked down at what appeared to be a large mountain ridge against a barren desert. “Ah Jesus, you fucks are gonna kill me aren’t you? This is it. I fuckin’ knew it.”

As the helicopter landed and the second man stepped off, he offered me his hand. I ignored it and jumped down.

The second man then grabbed my hand forcefully and began pulling me toward the mountain side as the helicopter took off.

“I can walk to my death by myself, thank you very much!” I shouted as I wrenched my hand from him.

If I’m going to die, I won’t be led like a lamb to slaughter. Death may come for everyone but that doesn’t mean I’ve gotta be a little bitch about it.

As the man in black and I approached the mountain side, he didn’t seem to slow down. In fact, he walked right INTO the mountain and disappeared.

I stopped walking and stared at the mountain.

“I swear to gods if I imagined all this shit and now I’m stuck, alone, and crazy in the desert, I’m gonna sue that hospital,” I said as I followed the man into the mountain.

A gust of cold air hit me as I entered what apparently was some sort of hidden bunker (hideout? Military base? I’m still not entirely sure) inside the mountain.

I also wasn’t sure how a simple hologram could hold the cold air inside a clearly open entryway that lead to the desert but, then again, there were a lot of things I was unsure of today.

The rocky hallway we found ourselves in, led to a single door with a biolock. The man in a black suit took off his sunglasses to reveal his one working eye to the sensor and the heavy titanium door opened.

“Artemis 9, you will follow this hallway to the last door at the very end. Your biometrics will allow you entry. Dr. Adman awaits you on the other side,” the man said and he turned to leave.

“Woah! Wait a minute, where are you going? Aren’t you coming with me?” I asked.

“I am not authorized to do so. My job was to bring you here and give the doctor something to work with by answering your questions to the best of my ability,” he said with, what sounded like, disappointment as he continued walking away.

The heavy door closed automatically behind him.

What even *IS* my life right now?

We’re waiting.

“Yeah yeah, keep your pants on,” I said aloud as I walked down the damp but obscenely well lit hallway toward the last door.

I placed my hand on the small touch pad next to the door and put my face in front of the small screen.

“Hello?” I said, trying to see if anyone was watching me through the screen.

The door hissed open.

Inside was an immense laboratory, a bit like Star Trek meets Frankenstein meets absolute chaos. Piles of papers and books littered the room. Some piles were as tall as I was.

There were also huge tanks of, what appeared to be, abnormally blue water with odd looking creatures floating inside them.

Among the towers of papers and books were tables laid with equipment and instruments that were clearly advanced but I had no idea of their purpose.

“Hello?” My voice echoed in the enormous room.

“Just a minute!” An excited voice called from behind a large desk, almost completely hidden by the other equipment and the massive piles of dead trees in the room.

“Take your time,” I said.

I mean what else can I do but wait?

At that moment Dr Adman came from around the desk.

“Hello! You must be Artemis 9, I’m Dr Adman. Let me have a look at you…” The doctor looked me over, grinning ear to ear, “you are truly magnificent.”

Really? I eat hot pockets and ramen every day while I sit at a computer desk.

“Yes, no physical abnormalities and the viral sensor didn’t indicate that you’re infected. Splendid,” the doctor chirped, “follow me, your room is this way.”

“Wait a minute, doc. No offense but I literally just found out that I am a government experiment. Can I just have a moment to process everything?” I ask.

“Oh! Of course! I got ahead of myself,” the doctor laughed, “I was just so excited about meeting you. Afterall you were my first successful child!”

I stared at the doctor, unsure of what to say.

“I mean that as in, I’m the reason you’re here. I am the doctor who created you. Right here in this room as a matter of fact,” the doctor smiled even wider, gesturing grandly to the whirlwind of a science lab around us.

“Okay so I’ve got 4 parents. My mother, my father, an alien, and… you,” I said slowly, “look, doc, it’s been a really long day and this headache has only gotten worse since all this started-“

“Oh! Put this on,” the doctor said and handed me a beanie, “it’s a hat I’ve designed especially for you.”

“What’s it do?”

“Well it is designed to allow for the free flow of thought wave particles into your head while simultaneously protecting you from psychological attack. Until you can do it yourself of course,” the doctor said proudly.

“Oh neat. Attack from who exactly?”

“Oh you’ll be briefed on that tomorrow morning after you rest. For now we need to get you settled in. Follow me,” the doctor said and swiftly walked toward the back of the lab.

As a piece of the wall opened to reveal a new hallway, completely white but just as insultingly bright as the hallway before, a new person approached in haste.

“Dr Adman! The General wanted to see you,” they said breathlessly.

“Ah! Astaria! Perfect timing. I was just about to show Artemis 9 to their room. Would you mind doing it while I see what the General needs? It’s time you two met anyway,” the doctor said, “Artemis 9, Astaria has been assigned as your partner for the project! So you two should get acquainted.”

Astaria smiled at me.

They were much taller than me and had a very slender frame. Their eyes seemed to be a glittering blue and their soft lips seemed to caress their words as they spoke, “Hey so you need your room, right? It’s this way.”

They led me down the sickeningly luminous hallway and around several corners until we reached a wall with a thick black stripe stretching from the ceiling to the floor.

“This is it. You just have to walk up and look into this blue dot,” Astaria said pointing to a blue mark in the middle of the stripe. It was about the size of a piece of rice.

“Oh right on, thanks,” I said, still in shock.

“Hey, are you okay?” Astaria asked, genuinely concerned.

“Oh sure I just found out I’m some kind of alien/earthling hybrid created by the government to save the world, that’s all. Just a regular Monday for me,” I said, trying to use humor to cope.

Astaria had the courtesy to be embarrassed by their question, “Yeah, it’s a lot to come at you all at once, I suppose.”

“Hey, the doc said you were my partner. Are you the one that was in my head talking to me?” I asked.

“Yeah, that was me,” they said, “I’m sorry I couldn’t be more clear before. Until you had agreed to come, I wasn’t supposed to tell you anything beyond what was authorized.”

“ ‘Agreed’ is hardly the word I’d use. I had an intense feeling that if I didn’t come then I wouldn’t live to see tomorrow. Then again, I felt the same way about coming here too so I figured, ‘Fuck it,’ “ I said flatly.

Astaria cocked their head to the side like a puppy listening to a human try to howl, “ ‘Fuck it’ seems to be a rather interesting conclusion to come to.”

“Does it? If I’m dying either way, I might as well get it over with right? Why wait?” I said as I stared at the black stripe on the wall, “how does this wor-“

The black stripe suddenly slipped upwards into the ceiling, causing me to jump, and revealed a moderately sized room.

Inside the room was a basic, metal framed, single bed complete with an itchy grey/green blanket, a thin, seemingly unsupportive pillow, and a metal trunk at the end of the bed.

Next to the bed was a nightstand with a round puck-like object sitting atop it and what appeared to be a “welcome” basket.

“Well everything you’ll need is in this room. Clothes and toiletries are in the trunk and the bathroom door can be opened by just walking up to that blue stripe on the wall. I’ll let you get settled in. If you need me I am just across the hall. Or you could just think about me,” they said with a wink.

“Hey hey, wait. If you can talk to me in my head does that mean you’re an experiment too?” I asked.

“Uh not exactly,” they hesitated, “I am from the star cluster Pleiades.”

“Oh.. the seven sisters?” I asked.

“Uh yeah,” they said, pleasantly surprised.

“So you are a full on alien. Neat,” I said awkwardly.

“Does that bother you?” They asked.

“Well no. I mean I can’t really be bothered by it, can I? Considering apparently I am part alien myself,” I said, “it’s just that I’ve never met one before so I’m not sure what to say.”

Astaria laughed, “Fair enough. I suppose I do have more experience in that area. Perhaps I could teach you about some cultures in the Pleiades. You may enjoy it.”

Their eyes are exquisite. I feel I could get lost in them if I-

“Just a reminder that I CAN hear your thoughts,” Astaria smirked.

I blushed deeply and looked away in embarrassment.

“Sorry. I just… your eyes are so-“

“They’re grey actually. They just appear blue in certain lights,” they said with a smirk, “I see your eyes are grey too but they have specks of gold in them making them appear almost green.”

I blushed again.

Are they flirti- ah damn it.

“Well I’m going to try to rest a bit before the evil guys are here to kill us,” I said quickly, hoping they didn’t catch that last thought, “call me when there’s food! Or a war I guess? I don’t know what the fuck is going on.”

I quickly walked into my room and the wall slid back into place.

The room was so silent I swear I could hear my heartbeat reverberating off the walls.

I approached the basket on the nightstand and saw there was a card that read, “Welcome Home, Artemis 9.”

The basket itself contained pieces of dried fruit, jerky, and packets of what appeared to be some type of powdered drink simply labeled, “drink me.”

What in the “Alice in Wonderland” shit is this?…

It’s instant hydration drink mix. It’s formulated to help your body process water for instant use.

“This shit is insane,” I said plopping onto the bed. I laid back and stared at the ceiling.

Hey, Astaria. Are you always gonna be reading my mind? Can I not have any privacy?

Oh! The hat the doctor made for you can be adjusted to filter me out but the doctor won’t permit that until you’ve learned to do it without the hat.

So what the fuck is the point of the hat?

To keep anyone ELSE from getting into your head. I have to be there for National security purposes until you can properly defend yourself. And to monitor you until they’ve decided you aren’t a liability.

I see…

You should get some rest before tomorrow morning. You have a big first day ahead of you.

Yeah no for sure, I’ll see you in the morning then. Right after those hospital nurses switch my medication…

I exhaled deeply as the day’s exhaustion consumed me and I fell into a deep, dreamless sleep.

Sci FiFantasy

About the Creator

Arthur Armstrong

A being of duality, poetic irreverence, and maddening nonsense.

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