An Alien Lesson in Empathy

Flash Fiction by Dom Fonce ♥ Art by Ryan Henry Ward


I pulled back the fleshy skin revealing a stomach, balloon-like in performance, much like ours. An incision up the chest cavity opened up a milky white bone plate. Lasered through that, a single heart and a set of lungs.

Placement: engulfed by rows of protective bone, one, two, three . . . twenty-three, twenty-four. Same as their females. Same as us but about six inches lower inside the chest. We do run, on an average, about a foot taller than they.

I wrote on the Vita-Screen in front of me. Taking quick notes of all similarities of these aliens. It was about 3 A.M. and the bag of grained caffeine, which had been rationed for the night, had been whisked onto the floor by the rotating fan that was keeping me awake.

Blood tests will be back tomorrow, along with fingerprint analysis and comparisons, and the eyeballs I believe were to be processed and dissected for analysis as well. I was most excited for the eyes, how the creatures see colors, how far they can see, how long can they keep their eyes open? Fascinating.

DNA was most important, I realized this; their chemical break downs and DNA structures in juxtaposition to ours is what project was all about.

“Brain chemistry, how dangerous these creatures are? Would they attack us on site? Would they understand us or even communicate to each other?” I spoke into the Vita-Screen.

“What about heart and soul? Courage and love? Families? Do they compile knowledge as swiftly as us? How do they teach their young? Do they kill off their old like us? Medicine? Warfare?”

All of these questions run through my brain on a daily basis, so much so that I’d been debating on a request to human relations instead of forensics and biology. I want peace not war, fear, and death. I want empathy from us and them. Maybe politics is where I should be?

I had to yawn, sit down, and look at the room even with this fire building up inside me. As I observed, the room looked just as tired as I. Papers of aged logs from projects long ago waved with each fan rotation, rows of turned off lights and darkened corners, dark windows and locked doors, cadavers, and dull monochrome metal walls.

Clean up the tools and go to bed, I told myself. Blood-gooed saws and scalpels steamed under the pressure washer.

“Blood color: red.” I spoke clearly into the machine.

“Outer shell color: A pale cream color, although some have much darker skin colors, and every shade of brown conceivable in between white and black. This is due to melanin. Fur location: Top of head, chest, under-arms, legs, and genitalia. Fur color: Light brown.”

“Alright I’m done, no more work.”

The washer turned off and I let it sit. My bed room sat adjacent to the laboratory. My bed was wonderful, top notch massaging for all the space-craft twists and turns during travel. It sat perfectly circular upon a platform of three small steps.

I jumped on it as if I were a kid again and snuggled up into my covers. The metal window gate was open to my close right, revealing the planet of our research, and the open space that surrounded us all. Stars out in the distance twinkled, I laid back on my stack of pillows and relaxed. Earth they call it, green and blue and brown like our home.

“Earthlings: God be merciful, let them be friendly, let us all have empathy.”

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