At one point I used to be human. The year is 2247 and I was born on the Space Station mining colony Char-Noir. Char-Noir has been my home for 17 years when the attack came. There was no warning. One moment we were going about our daily lives, the next the alarms were going off that indicated we were being boarded. I was still in school with the other kids when the alarm sounded
My parents always told me, that if the alarm ever sounded, I needed to make my way back to our quarters. I knew that I would be caught if I used the corridors. So, I used the air ducts and maintenance shafts. I couldn’t help making some noise, so to keep it to a minimum I removed my shoes. The hard soles were making too much noise on the metal surfaces. Walking, I was completely silent. Running, I made a little noise with the impact of my feet on the floor panels and my heavy breathing.
I guess that is what led to my getting caught by the intruders. There was an explosion a few yards in front of me. The force of the blast knocked me backward a few more yards. I was dazed and trying to get up when I saw the strangest creature I had ever seen. Two of them came through the hole in the wall and grabbed me by my arms and carried me into the corridor. My arms were secured behind my back and I was forced to walk with the other prisoners. The blast caused me to lose my shoes, so I was wearing only my ankle socks.
In my haste to get to the place where I was to meet my parents, I had only made it up one level before I was captured. Maybe, if I had moved slower and more quietly, I would have made it. Then what? Would my dad have been waiting for me? I suppose I’ll never know, now.
Some of the others were whispering among themselves, so I quickly learned they knew as little as I did, which was pretty much nothing. These were the first aliens we had ever met, so we had no database of any other species. They were tall and extremely thin. They reminded me of an insect called a ‘walking stick’ I had learned about in school. Except these aliens were black with white dots that looks like stars in the blackness of space.
In order to keep us together, the aliens made us take the stairs instead of the elevators. All of that walking made my socks slide down over my heels. So I had no choice but to slide out of them. By the time we reached the level with the cargo bays I was barefoot.
Maybe I should describe myself. My name at the time of my capture was Alena Fortney. I was the only daughter of the station’s commander, James Fortney, and was the man in charge of the mining station. We mined the Kuiper asteroid belt and traded our raw ore with Earth as well as the Lunar and Mars colonies, in exchange for manufactured goods as well as food, water and air.
My mother, Janet Fortney, died when I was 12 from a mutated form of pneumonia. None of the antibiotics had any effect on it and she drown in her own fluids. After her death dad buried himself in his job. It was as if I had lost both parents. I raised myself after her death. At first, I relied heavily on my best friend’s mom. She taught me how to prepare meals and how to do laundry. She helped me become the self-reliant person I am today. It had always been easy for me to travel through the air vents and maintenance shafts. I am 5 feet tall and only weight 85 pounds in 1G. When I turned 14, I started working with station maintenance engineers. They would always call on me to get to the hard to reach places.
I have always been very intelligent, so it didn’t take long for me to learn how the station operated. Eventually, I became one of them. I had proven myself and earned their trust. By the time I was 16 they had given me my own custom sized EVA suit for working outside. I was a certified maintenance engineer. Now, this blonde haired, silver eyed 17 year old girl was about to experience something new, how to survive as a prisoner of an alien species, oh joy.
By the time I was reunited with the rest of the inhabitants of the mining station, I was exhausted. I did notice I wasn’t the only one barefoot. They had captured people in their sleepwear, even some were naked except for a towel. I didn’t know how many people were in this holding area. There were 1500 people on the station at any given time.
Apparently, our captors didn’t care if we slept or not. They never turned off the lights, we just had to cover our eyes and make do. They were not even providing food or water for us. All that I could see happening was several aliens would come in and take about ten or so people away. I never saw them again.
By the time it was my turn, I was weak and delirious from hunger and thirst. The aliens seemed to be aware of our weakened state, they started carrying us out on floating platforms. I was taken to a room with a table and some robotic looking thing mounted to the ceiling. I was lifted and moved to the table. My arms, legs and head were strapped to the table. One strap was placed over my mouth and one over my forehead. The straps holding my head had bags on either side of my head that inflated to hold my head immobile.
Two of the aliens, one on each side began working on each side of the table up by my neck. One of them did something at the back of my neck and I could no longer feel my body. I began to panic even in my weakened state. Apparently, panicking didn’t threaten their work, since they ignored it. I could see them attaching tubing and wires to my neck, then a few minutes later they lifted my body away from the table. ‘WTF? How can I be aware if they chopped my head off?’ I thought, then I remembered the hoses. They had been attaching artificial life support in preparation of severing my head from my body.
“Calm yourself, Young One. We have learned much from the others. You are the culmination of all that we have learned from the others of your kind.” One of the aliens said in my mind. The one on my left reached behind itself and touched something. Then all was darkness.
I don’t know how long I was out; I had no concept of the passage of time. What I did know was that I had a body again, but it wasn’t the same one I started out with. An alien entered the room, it was the first time I realized I had been alone in the room.
“What did you do to me?” I asked out loud.
“You are the first to survive the procedure. We transplanted your organic brain into a cybernetic body. We attached external life support to keep your brain alive until the custom body was completed. To help you adjust to it we designed it based on your original body.
“You will still have a period of adjustment.” It informed me.
“But why?” I asked
“We need you. We are at war and are dying out. More of our people are dying in the conflict than can be born. Our species is driven to find a mate every 10 Earth years. During the initial mating the couple may have one or two offspring. It takes two Earth years for a child to be born. Thousands of us will die when a ship is destroyed.
“When our leaders realized this, we began capturing others and forcing them to fight for us. Organics such as your species require a delicate environmental balance. We realized we had the same problem. Replacing the loss of the slaves.
“ We tried robots, but their functionality was too limited to operate vessels. We tried full A.I. Controlled androids. That had limited success. The A.I.s were limited by their programming, they were unable to anticipate and adjust as they operated. We were at an impasse. Then a report from a scout ship came in about a primitive species that excelled at war. That’s when we discovered Earth.