The Kuba Experiments: A Better Humanity
Part One: The Ship Hull
I was scared stiff. I lay in the mud beneath the ship, barely daring to breath. My clothes were filthy, covered with grass and mud and pieces of leaves from the nearby forest. A salamander wiggled across my hand and I cringed, pulling my hand back under my body. The ships engines hummed rhythmically a mere foot above my head, keeping the aliens craft alive.
Above me, I could hear the pounding of the Kuba’s feet as they walked back and forth along the halls, attending to their experiments and studies. They had lived on Earth for nearly a year now, and no one had been inside of their ships. America and Europe had agreed to allow science research ships to land about their countries and examine the Earth, as long as no humans were captured and experimented on or kept as pets. The government did a run through of each ship once a month to make sure nothing funny was going on. They never reported anything strange.
The press had stayed away. Other than a few outside shots of different research facilities and a few pictures of the President standing with the Kuba leader Raynom, no one had seen the inside of the ship. Of course, the Kuba’s were around twenty-five to thirty feet tall. That alone kept reporters away.
Now I was trapped under the Northern Kuba Research center, stuck in the mud as torrents or rain poured down outside and flowed around me, tugging at my waterlogged clothes and hair. Pulled my shoulder bag up out of the mud and checked to make sure that my camcorder was still there. It was, along with my notebook and normal camera. Taking a deep breath, I looked at the metal plating above me. It was partially open to allow one of the many ‘legs’ of the ship out to help support the ship in the mudflow. I crawled over to the leg and used it to pull myself up out of the mud. Carefully, I tossed my bag up into the leg compartment and pulled myself up after it.
A large plain that seemed to expand throughout the entire bottom of the ship met my eyes. I could see several openings where legs were sticking through to add extra support to the ship. A quarter of a mile away I could see a small shine of unnatural light. A vent, I reasoned as I pulled off my muddy sweatshirt and sweatpants that had been covering my reporter clothes. I spread them out across the cold metal floor near the opening I had crawled through and emptied out my backpack. I shoved my inch thick camcorder my baggy cargo-pant pockets and pulled my reporters license around my neck. It covered up the ‘Candy’ logo on my light pink t-shirt. Most would have dubbed all black clothes for this ‘mission’, but I was all about comfort, not stealth equipment.
The Kuba’s continued to stomp around above me. I got up to my feet and looped my camera over my shoulder and started towards the light. It only took a few minutes to reach it in my watery state. I rung out my hair and looked above. The vent was four feet above my head, a reachable height. I waited for a reasonable silence to fall around my head before jumping up and grabbing the grate rungs. I popped my head through and up into the hall.
It was long and silver, devoid of any furniture. A couple of doors lined the walls, and there were no giants in sight. I wiggled through the bars and stood by the door, wondering what to do next. The best thing would probably be to wait for a Kuba to come along and open one of the doors. I made my way to the closest door and settled down into the doorframe, out of sight. I began to snap photos of the hall and the amazingly bright fluorescent lights above.
The floor began to tremble and I pressed myself up against the doorjamb to keep from falling over. A large man, thirty feet or more, came to a stop before the door, carrying a silver tray laden with beakers and test tubes. I flipped the flash off of my camera and snapped a quick picture before tucking it away. The door slid open and I followed the man into a large sterile room. It was full of large tables and counters full of medical equipment. I slid over behind a gurney standing beside the wall and squeezed under it. Army-crawling towards the other end, I poked my head and camcorder out and began to film the giant moving about the room. He was placing the beakers and tubes in different locations on the counters.
My camera released a loud protesting beep as I tried to force it to zoom in closer. The giant across the room froze, dropping the tray onto the counter. He spun around before I could push myself back under the table. His eyes traveled about the room, sweeping about at his head level, and then lower.
"A human wouldn’t have," his eyes landed on me, "snuck in!" He gasped.
I shoved myself back and slammed my head into the bottom of the gurney. Stars exploded before my eyes as blood began to run down into my eyes. I felt the world around me begin to tilt dizzily as the floor grew closer. A moment later everything went dark and silent.
I could only remember waking twice between when I had hit my head and when I regained full consciousness. The first time I came to groggily, without any real sense of where I was or what was going on. There were two Kuba’s in the room; the scientist I had followed in, and a taller male with dark hair and a heavy scowl on his face. My head throbbed dully and I let out an involuntary groan as I tried to move it. The two Kuba’s fell silent and looked down their noses at me. I closed my eyes and fell back against the soft cloth I was lying on. Faintly, I could hear them speaking, about me.
"I contacted the human’s government. They said that they’d send a helicopter to pick her up and take her to an appropriate hospital as soon as the rain subsided." The scowling Kuba said.
"The rain is not scheduled to stop for another day or two." The scientist pointed out.
"Then you will have to keep a close watch on her. She should remain unconscious until the helicopter arrives."
"The tranquilizer I gave her should keep her out for another day or two."
"Good, good," heavy footsteps thundered away from my position, "see that it does."
After those few words darkness claimed me once more.
I woke up again what I judged to be a few hours later. I still felt weak and tired, and the same scientist was still there, only a few feet away, when I opened my eyes. I bit back a cry of pain as I tried to move my head around. The scientist had his nose in a book and was running his fingers through his lanky brown hair every few seconds. He glanced up a minute or two after I had woken up and got a surprised look on his face. He shut the book and pushed his glasses up into place.
"How are you feeling?" He asked softly, a faint smile on his lips. I closed my eyes and turned my head away. The scientist had set me on a soft cloth that smelled sweet. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. The giant moved around, and when I opened my eyes I saw he had moved so he could see my face. He squatted down so he was at eye level with me. "Would you like some water to drink?" He asked.
I thought for a moment; my throat was rather dry. I gave a small nod. He smiled and stood back up. He crossed the room and I could hear a thin trickle of water running into something. The man returned a moment later and offered me what looked like a bottle cap filled with water. I tried to lift my arms to reach for it, but they merely fell back onto the cloth. I felt my cheeks grow red; I was too weak to even take a drink of water! I turned my head away once more, eyes shut tightly.
A soft finger turned my head back forward and gently propped me up. The lip of the bottle cap was set against my mouth and cold water trickled between my lips and across my tongue, soothing my screaming throat. I closed my mouth and turned my head away when I’d had enough. I felt a few drops of water fall onto my neck and the cloth as the man took it away. I slumped back onto the cloth and yawned. I drifted off a few moments later to the scientists humming.
The final time I woke up I was alone. It felt as though the tranquilizer had worn off, so I tried to push myself up. Amazingly my arms held my weight and I got a good look around. I was sitting on one of the counters, straight across from the door. My clothes were mostly dry, and my camera and shoulder bag were lying a few feet away. I stretched out my arm and pulled my bag over to my side. My camera still had its save chip and my stuff was untouched. I snapped a few more pictures of the lab before swinging the bag and camera over my shoulder. I tucked the save chip into my pocket, just incase, and managed to get to my feet. I wavered for a moment, my head protesting, but was able to stay upright.
The counter was covered in beakers and bottles and filled with different chemicals. I wandered over to one; it was nearly two feet taller than me! I tapped the glass. It was filled with a dark brown liquid that looked like cola. It was fizzing like cola too. I walked in a circle around it, and then moved on to the next beaker. This one was filled with what looked like grape juice. It only came up to my neck, so I chanced reaching my hand into it and taking a taste.
It WAS grape juice!
The whoosh of an automatic door opening pulled my attention away from the juice. I darted behind a white box full of Petri dishes and looked at the door. The young scientist came in, humming to himself. He glanced up from his book to the counter where I had been lying and ran into one of the tables. Rubbing his stomach, he set down his book and rushed over.
"I was only gone five minutes," he mused to himself, "where could she have gone?" He lifted up the cloth (apparently one of his handkerchiefs) and began to search. He moved the beakers I had been examining and checked behind them, then in them, to make sure I wasn’t around. "Where is she?" He asked, moving around more beakers. He put his hands on his hips and scanned the counter. I ducked down behind the box, wrapping my arms around myself in a futile attempt to keep from trembling.
"There you are!" The box disappeared. I watched in frightened awe as it was lifted high above my head and then placed to the side. The scientist set it to the side and smiled disarmingly at me. "You can’t go running off like that. You could get into trouble." He scolded, crouching down so he was at eye-level with me. "If Mr. Rives found out that you disappeared, we’d both be in huge trouble."
I had to roll my eye at that. "As if I’m not in big enough trouble as it is. Excuse the pun."
The scientist grinned. "Your government doesn’t seem to angry with you."
"Public relations cover up junk." I waved my hand, holding up a front to keep my voice from breaking. I was talking to a giant alien!
The giant smiled. "I’m Rhett, the head scientist on this ship."
"I’m Jola. Nothing special; just Jola." I shrugged, making sure my save chip was in my pocket. Rhett snorted.
"Nothing special? You evaded our outer limit detectors," he motioned to the window in the side of the ship. Rain was pouring down in sheets of harsh bullet seeking unprotected skin.
"Is that why the helicopter can’t get here?" I asked, looking back up, and up, and up at him. I felt incredibly small, and the feeling wouldn’t go away. He nodded, smiling softly.
"Exactly why. You heard us talking earlier, I believe?" It was my turn to nod. "Don’t worry, Miss Jola, we’ll get you home safely."