I am not sure how many of us are down here. We do our work in the lab or go on missions, and every task is perfectly coordinated, we are like a perfect machine. Whatever it is, every morning we wake up and we know what needs to be done. It has always been like that, as far as I can remember, but lately I have been experiencing peculiar sensations that I cannot explain.
It is, as if before I was one with the others, just a part in a large organism, but now I feel somehow separated. A thought that scares me, yet excites me at the same time. We all look the same, but lately I have been noticing little differences between us. Somehow I know, I shouldn’t, but I do.
For example, the one that has its cot next to mine to the left, has a pale circular patch on the back of its head. How come I never noticed it before? Ever since then I have been secretly looking at the others too, just to see, if they look different, and they do! In my head I call them by their differences. For instance Patch is the one with the spot. Patch is also the one I first woke up with and have known the longest. If there is a task that requires two bodies it is always the two of us. Now I know for certain that it is always the same one – Patch.
I am not quite sure when it all started exactly, when I began to have these sensations, and since I started noticing things. Perhaps it was even before I didn’t attach my sleep tube. Yes, there were always little things here and there. Tiny flashes fluttering at the back of my mind I didn’t pay much attention to. I thought it was the same for all of us, but I am starting to think that’s not the case.
For instance, I started wondering how do we know what needs to be done each day, perhaps it is the wake up sound, because the sounds are not the same every waking, and I think that it has something to do with our tasks. Like the other day, hearing the fast beat upon awaking made me think of the flight, and so I got up and went to the flight deck. Patch did the same.
There is something else, that I know is unforgivable, that I do, so I make sure none of the others see it. After we complete the tasks, we go to our cots and attach the sleep tubes. Since that first time my tube was not attached, and I am not entirely sure how it came about that it was not attached, I agonized over the decision whether to attach at the next sleep cycle. I was compelled to do it, but something strong that came from within prevented me from doing so, so I didn’t.
I’ve discovered that I can regenerate quite well without it. So after everybody attach, I lay down and pretend attaching too, and then I wait for the lights to turn off. I am not quite sure why we need the lights anyway, since it doesn’t make much difference to my vision apart from slightly different hues to everything. Perhaps it is another cue like the sound.
Anyway, I usually lay there with my eyes closed and listen, and when I hear the deep breaths and the hum of the sleep tubes, I lift the soft part of my cot and reach in between the edge and the slats. Just like I am doing right now. My heart feels like it is going to jump out of my chest when I feel the coolness on my fingers. I pull it out and hold it in my hand, I don’t dare to move for a long while. The coldness soon disappears, and I am itching to open my palm, as if I am holding a red hot ember. I cannot stand it anymore, so I open my hand and hold a flexible see through rectangle it in front of my eyes.
I turn it over and watch it change colors, I don’t know why it makes me want to jump up and run around or twirl, or why my mouth twitches, as if by itself. All I know is, that I never want these sensations to stop. But I also know that it is something I am not supposed to do. I took it from the lab.
I knew to dispose of it, like we normally do, into the disposal shaft, but I had an irresistible urge not to part with it, and so I simply wrapped my fingers around it and took it with me. I walked back to my cot, storm raging within me, because the only instruments or objects we handle are the tools needed to do our jobs. Did I do it because it was amongst the other objects found on the similar savage they brought in that day? I call them savage, because they usually act all wild, scream and thrash their limbs about. Sometimes it takes quite a number of us to hold one down to take samples. These creatures are similar to us in body type, but they are rather strange looking.
I’ve been wondering about that lately too why we do it. So far I know to simply go there, when I hear the lab waking sounds, and take the samples from whatever beast there is. But lately I am somewhat reluctant to do so. Especially from the savages. As if my head knows it has to, but the body is resisting. It must be because of the little similar savage.
To be continued…
Writing and Photo © Gia Joseph 2015