This place stinks. Literally. The smell wakes me up.
We’ve got nothing to work with! We can’t even get anywhere near fire! How do they think our species got revved up? With fire! We can’t make things without heat, baby!
Look at this place! A toilet! A bowl of something! A shelf with weird chewy chunks that we’re supposed to eat all the time! The smell is horrendous. There’s no grooming. And we’re constantly watched by that fucking eyeball! Do they think that we’ll think it’s our mother?
Either our keepers are ignorant of human psychological needs, or they’re experimenting with my group for a twisted reason or two.
I can see them watching us. They aren’t even trying to conceal themselves. No, this isn’t for science. This is a goddamn zoo.
I’d never have volunteered for this haphazard journey across realities. But it’s been a fantastic adventure. I only hope that I keep moving on from here…
Still, it’s maddening to wake up in a strange place inside a different version of me with no way of knowing the specifics of the situation. Even though, it’s true, sometimes I’ve awakened with lots of control – sometimes even for two or three days. And they were monumental.
But today is just too messed up. I’ve been a prisoner before on this journey, a few times.
But this? A human animal in an intergalactic zoo? This makes me furious…
This closest alien – is he or she or it watching from a window or a two-way monitor?
Then there’s another alien above our enclosure, working some controls. Those panels behind him must be representations of the planets that we zoo animals come from.
This body I’m in was raised here and it is in terrible shape. But the brain has been here the whole time has has taken in those aliens its whole existence. Somewhere in here I must have enough knowledge to figure out this scene. Inside this small habitat there’s nothing better to do.
Hours pass as I sit quietly probing my borrowed memory for clues about my keepers. At first the images make no sense, but then I associate some of them with dream images of some encounter with an Intergalactic Council. Yes. These aliens are among the trouble mentioned by the Council before my… trial starts?
Anyway… they’re called The Hywons.
The Hywon Precinctorate has learned how to bypass the light-speed barrier by transmuting back and forth into tachyons.
With limited resources and an entire cosmos available for exploration, this intergalactic civilization is doing its best to log, preserve, exploit and protect life from the cosmic catastrophes that constantly wipe out worlds.
Because of objections by such entities as The Intergalactic Council, kidnappings of living citizens has been legally suspended. Instead, genetic material is removed from tranquilized specimens for reproduction later on Hywon. Even this is frowned upon by intergalactic “authorities” but the Hywon do not recognize outside authority except while negotiating.
The Hywons discovered the Solar System about 150 years ago.
Humans, like almost every other species interesting enough to be reproduced on Hywon, are grown in a variety of situations to study their contrasts and similarities in developments.
Some are grown in simulations of Earth environments, complete with other animals, insects and plants taken from Earth to enhance the experiments. After all, how can any animal be herself without all accompanying bacteria, bugs, bushes and brands from her surroundings?
Yet some, like us, have been kept in-group isolation, knowing only ourselves and what we’ve been able to share with each other. Disgusting.
Even Earth-bound humanity started understanding the contradictory reality of imprisoning animals. Artificial environments the size of a house couldn’t provide natural homes for normal development. Jailed animals were not behaving normally. Profiting from their torture was never justified, only rationalized.
Okay, weird as it seems, there is something alluring about this raw scent that I’m picking up. Where is that coming from?
Look at poor Rogg on the floor. Stuffed. Passed out. A wasted existence. All of us. Wasted for the amusement of mildly curious yet mentally distracted aliens.
There’s that hot, sensuous smell again. Are they pumping that shit in here, or -? No! It can’t be coming from her. Ugh. She is repulsive. I’m sorry, but that sexy scent cannot be coming out of that visual. With the hair on the legs and the pits and the nips and the – yikes!
Jeez, you know I think that smell actually is coming from this woman. That’s crazy. I’m just gonna get a little closer to check it out, and… yeah, yeah that’s it.
Luckily I’m adaptive.