Prompt: You wake up. Short of breath, your head pounding. You see bright lights all around you. And then a glass enclosure. A rather well-dressed humanoid enters the room, leading smaller humanoids along with it. “And this little guy is our most recently revived, he was born over 32,000 years ago.”
“Thirty-two— What?” I shout, standing, stumbling, righting myself by grabbing the glass. “How old did you say I am?”
The taller — thing? — stares blankly at me with teal eyes. Blinks a few times, then turns to a horde of smaller, similar things. They are all wearing the same dark blue clothes, lined with beads of dimly glowing green. Except for the taller one, his beads are gold outlined in deep red.
“Thirty-two thousands, human,” the taller one says, without facing me. “And do you know how long ago that was, Saplings?”
“Five million exo-years ago!” they cheer simultaneously, jumping, raising handless arms. Nubs where fingers ought to be.
What the hell is this place?
“You are correct,” the tall one says, turning to me. They near and I step back. Up close, their skin moves like water. There’s black spots underneath, wavering… “And this particular one is quite small, no?”
“Only sixty-four earthen inches, with the maximum phallus length of six EI.” It grins. The smaller ones giggle.
“How would it be able to procreate with something that small, All-Seer? Would it even reach?” A smaller one asks.
“Not here, no.” It shakes its head, but the black spots remain still. “But where it came from, certainly, it could do. You see, Saplings, where the humans originated, there were many others who settled—”
“My wife did not settle!” I shout. “We were high school sweethearts. We had three beautiful children!”
“Uh huh,” the tall one says, nodding. “And where is she now, or the children?”
My words lodge in my throat, tears immediately swelling. Flashes of memories bombard my mind. My knees go numb and I collapse to the ground. “Diana…” I choke out. “Thomas, Tabitha, Suzy…” I cover my trembling lips, and tears run down my fingers. I look at the tall one, and anger grows in my chest.
“Where are they?” I roar, lurching to my feet, pounding on the glass. The smaller ones gasp, all stepping back. “What have you done with my family!”
The tall one stands silently, watching as I punch the glass.
It’s impossibly warm. I can’t completely breath. Sweat streaks down my sides. “Where are they?” I scream again.
“Have you seen enough, Saplings?”
“Yes All-Seer,” they say.
“Good,” it says, then they start walking away.
“Where are you going?” Kick the glass, my hands bruised and sore. “Come back! Where is my family! What did you do them?”
“What’re going to with him, All-Seer?” I hear a small one ask.
Tiny holes appear in the white polished floor. Wisps of orange-red smoke seep out.
“What we always do,” it says.
I can’t feel my limbs, my head. The room’s spinning, blurring into a pixelated fuzziness.
“Di…ana…” I whisper.
“And what’s that?”
I smack against the glass, drop to the ground. Heart slows. Mind vanishing.
“Erase this visit from his memory,” it says. “Can’t truly have the first-time human experience with them remembering, can we?”
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