The End of the Week by David Macfie
Jamie Calhoun was singing in the shower. He’d met the love of his life a week ago and last night had been the first date. It was perfect. They got on like a house on fire and talked until late into the night. When both were tired enough to call it a day, they agreed to get to know each other properly before doing what both were eager to do right then and there. He’d seen her home and kissed her cheek and she’d hugged him fiercely. Then they’d kissed chastely and tenderly and agreed a date for Wednesday. That had been only four hours ago, but Jamie hadn’t been able to sleep. He felt so good that he wanted to feel all of it for as long as possible on this best Sunday of his life.
Suddenly, an alien sound intruded on the lusty rendition of his favorite aria. It was surreptitious at first and he didn’t notice, but soon it couldn’t be ignored. It was a mixture of a low-pitched scream and somebody scratching on a chalk board. Jamie quickly rinsed off, wrapped a towel round his hips switched off the water and crept out to investigate. There was nothing in the bathroom, nor in the bedroom. The noise was increasing in volume and sounded like it was coming from the kitchenette/dining room. He quietly opened the bedroom door and peeped out. Instantly he felt a sharp jab in his neck then, with no further awareness of events around him, he collapsed in a heap on the floor. His unconscious body was manhandled into a carrying bag and hoisted onto a strong pair of shoulders. His abductors then moved him rapidly to their waiting vehicle. They visited several other places and collected another nine individuals including Jenny Warrington, the young lady Jamie had dated the night before. All ten captives were unceremoniously hauled to the waiting vehicle and loaded on board. Then, with all of them still deeply unconscious, they were taken to another, larger transport that awaited with its cargo doors open and a ramp down. The first vehicle drove inside and parked, the ramp withdrew into the vehicle and the doors closed. In no time the larger transport set off.
When Jamie woke up he was strapped into a chair on the end of an arc of chairs. He was still naked, except for the gag over his mouth. He looked around and listened carefully, trying to take in as much as he could. In the background there was a low humming noise, coupled with a very slight vibration that set his teeth on edge. It was like the slower drill that his dentist used to prepare his cavities for fillings. He deduced he was in a moving vehicle. It didn’t feel like a car. Somehow, he had an impression of something larger, and it felt more like the motion of a plane rather than a land based transport. The room he was in was nearly dark. It was only just light enough for him to make out the other nine chairs, each containing a slumped figure. He looked again and realized that the only light came from single dimmed spotlights over each chair. He couldn’t see the walls of the room but the space felt much bigger than what he could see. He tried to work out more about his surroundings but there wasn’t much to go so he really didn’t get far before there was movement from the chair next to him. That made him think again. He guessed that the chairs had been filled in order of the abductions and so the people would wake up in the same sequence. He waited and watched and was gratified when the gradual movements were as he had predicted. Finally, all ten were awake but Jamie couldn’t see any details except for the movements.
He returned to trying to pick up information from his surroundings. Suddenly there was a mechanical sound and a sliver of light appeared in front of the chairs, but at least twenty meters away. The sliver gradually got bigger and, to Jamie, it looked almost like a giant eye opening gradually. He was stunned when he could suddenly and clearly see the earth and the moon floating in the space beyond what was now obviously a huge window. The implication of that hit him like a hammer blow to his stomach. He must be in some sort of space craft. He sensed the shock in the others and looked at them in the now brightly lit area. He immediately recognized Jenny and her eyes widened when she saw him also. He scanned the space they were sitting in. It was an enormous open area with polished metal on the floor, walls and ceiling. These curved into each other, rather than joining in right angles like earth rooms. He estimated the size at eighty meters long by fifty wide and twenty high. The shape was like a large egg, flattened on the bottom.
As he looked, a panel slid open in the wall behind him. Something entered, accompanied by a mechanical sound. It approached the back of the chairs then moved to the front and positioned itself before the center of the arc of chairs. It was clearly a machine of some sort.
The next shock was when it began to open out. Its initial shape had been like a vertically balanced egg on a flat base but when it opened it expanded into something that approximated a humanoid appearance. Eyes opened and a mouth appeared. A metallic voice greeted the prisoners, causing yet another shock, when the words were in clearly annunciated English.
“This space craft is entirely automated on this level. You are now guests of the Taurians. We are inhabitants of a planet from the Solar system called Tau Ceti by your astronomers. We are about twelve light years away in your measurements and are from the only inhabited planet in our system. But we are reforming the only other planet there that can sustain life. You have been carefully selected, in pairs, as the first inhabitants of that planet. Your preparation and training for this starts now.”